Dana Street

Some say it’s named for Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882), author of Two Years Before the Mast, an 1840 memoir about his voyages along the California coast. If true, then it’s only indirectly named for him, e.g., someone was inspired by Dana Point. But it’s more likely that “Dana” was simply available when city leaders decided to rename the former Orange Avenue in February 1897. (They were especially wishy-washy that month: the name went from Orange to Dana to Compton to Stanley to Chicago and then back to Dana!) There was once a different Dana Street abutting a 35 acre property owned by the estate of oneĀ “Col. S. Dana” at the present location of the Shrine Auditorium. It was coopted into 32nd Street in 1891, freeing up the Dana name. “Col. S. Dana” was most likely Samuel Dana (1838-1870), a payroll officer with the U.S. Army who mostly split his time between Arizona and San Francisco but presumably invested in some L.A. land. He met an early end after falling out of a window on Yerba Buena Island.