Lakme Avenue

Wilmington’s East Street was rechristened Lakme Avenue in 1915; the name was probably taken from the steamship Lakme, a regular caller at West Coast ports back then. In fact there were several ships called Lakme in those days, all of them inspired by the 1883 French opera Lakmé, composed by Léo Delibes. (The “Lakmé” name was invented for the opera’s heroine, a Hindu priestess in colonial India, so it couldn’t have come from anywhere else. That said, “Lakmé” itself was derived from the goddess Lakshmi.) Even if you’ve never heard of the opera, you’ve surely heard its “Flower Duet”, which has been employed in countless films, TV shows, and commercials.