Doña Pegita Drive

Doña is a Spanish honorific, sort of like “Mrs.” except preceding a woman’s first name, not her last (e.g., Doña Penélope, not Doña Cruz). You’ll find 23 “Doña” streets in these hills. The first dozen were named west of Laurel Canyon Blvd. in 1958 as part of the Laurelwood tract, managed by prolific builder Milton Whitebook (1919-2006). The rest, east of Laurel Canyon, came about in 1961. I found no namesakes in Whitebook’s family: his wife’s name was Caroline, and there’s no “Doña Carolina Drive” here. Some have surmised that the streets were named after 19th century Californio women, but that’s unlikely, especially with Spanglish monikers like “Doña Pegita”. So either the streets were named after staffers’ loved ones (e.g., “Pegita” for Peg) or these nombres were pulled out of thin air. Tilde trivia: The Doñas were originally the “Donas”, without the squiggle over the “n”. In 2001, Spanish-born resident Santiago Pozo successfully petitioned the City to add proper tildes to the street signs.