Welcome to L.A. Street Names, the origin stories of street names across Los Angeles County, from the shortest cul-de-sacs to the longest boulevards. Mysteries solved, myths debunked, scandals exposed, history revealed. This is an ongoing project with more than 1,600 streets – and growing. See FAQ for more information.
Robert Miller “R.M.” Town (1844-1900) was a real estate agent who came to L.A. in 1870 from Peoria, IL. Four years later, he cofounded the weirdly-named Los Angeles Immigration and Land Co-operative Association, a syndicate of investors and fruit growers that set up the town of Pomona in 1875. (They established Artesia that same year; both developments initially failed.) Like many members of the syndicate – see Pomona Blvd. for the full list – Town honored himself with a Pomona street name, although he himself remained in L.A. until his untimely death from tuberculosis. This street was indeed born as “Town Avenue” in the 1880s; the “Towne” spelling slowly took over during the first decade of the 20th century, perhaps because Pomonans found the original moniker too confusing and/or plain. But the man’s name was Town.