Pioneering Women

Countless streets in Los Angeles County are named after the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of male developers. While these women certainly led interesting, important lives of their own – often co-owning and managing their families’ properties – newspapers of their day typically reported only on their domestic dramas and social engagements. Thus it’s hard to gauge the true impact they had on the world outside their homes. In contrast, the following streets honor independent women who forged their own paths in male-dominated businesses.

  • Arcadia Street (DTLA). One of many streets named for mega-landowner Arcadia Bandini de Baker.
  • Budlong Avenue (Gardena, South L.A.). For real estate speculator Nancy Budlong.
  • Bushnell Way (Highland Park). For school principal Rose Bushnell.
  • Earhart Avenue (Westchester). For aviator and sometime Angeleno Amelia Earhart.
  • Effie Street (Echo Park, Silver Lake). Probably named for Effie Baxter, who became an osteopath.
  • Ethel Avenue (Alhambra). For socialite-turned-editor Ethel Shorb.
  • French Avenue (Cypress Park). For the French school owned and operated by Theresa Henriot.
  • Gilmore Avenue (Marina del Rey). For physician/suffragist Marcia Gilmore.
  • Graynold Avenue (Glendale). Half-named for school principal Cyrene Reynolds.
  • Lark Ellen Avenue (Azusa, Covina, West Covina). Also: Larke Ellen Circle (Beverlywood). For soprano Ellen Beach Yaw, who lived in West Covina.
  • Modjeska Street (Silver Lake). For Polish-American stage actress Helena Modjeska.
  • Myra Avenue (Los Feliz, Silver Lake). For Myra McCarthy, matriarch of the real estate family that gave us Melrose Ave.
  • Ozmun Court (Pasadena). For Fair Oaks Pharmacy builder Gertrude Ozmun.
  • Pickford Way (Culver City). For movie star/producer/studio head Mary Pickford.
  • Pilgrimage Bridge (Hollywood). A memento of playwright/producer Christine Wetherill Stevenson’s Pilgrimage Theatre (now the Ford).
  • Ramona Boulevard (Baldwin Park, El Monte). Nearly all the Ramona-named streets in the county are inspired by author Helen Hunt Jackson and her 1884 novel Ramona.
  • Robinson Road (Pasadena). For professor and Methodist leader Dr. Jane Bancroft Robinson.
  • Rossmore Avenue (Hancock Park). For Hancock Park landowner Ida Hancock Ross.
  • Severance Street (University Park). For women’s suffrage activist Caroline Severance.
  • Scudder Way (Monterey Park). For potato chip/peanut butter entrepreneur Laura Scudder.
  • Shatto Street (Westlake). Developer Clara Shatto outlived her husband (and business partner) George by decades.