Elizabeth Street

By 1893, David Joseph Macpherson (1854-1927), a Canadian-born, Michigan-raised engineer who had settled in Pasadena in 1885, named three streets Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe – all after the famous railroad line. In fact it’s been suggested that Macpherson himself once worked for the AT&SF. If true, then the inspiration for these streets is obvious, but there’s another claim that Macpherson named several streets in this neighborhood after famous railroads, including New York Drive for the New York & Erie RR and Rio Grande Street for the Denver & Rio Grande RR. There were once Erie and Denver streets here, so this theory is plausible. And Macpherson was definitely into locomotives: he was locally famous for building the Mount Lowe Railway, a now-defunct funicular, in the 1890s. He, his wife Emma (1857-1924), and their four kids actually lived on Atchison Street. It has kept its name, as has Topeka Street, but someone coopted Santa Fe Street into Elizabeth and broke up the trio.