Libbit Avenue

Since there was absolutely no one named “Libbit” listed in local newspapers, city directories, or censuses when Libbit Avenue was christened in 1916, I posit that it was a diminutive form of “Elizabeth”. My reasoning: the street was born on the Encino Acres tract, developed by William H. Hay – Hayvenhurst Avenue is derived from his surname – and he happened to have a daughter named Mary Elizabeth Hay (1904-1987), who went by her middle name. Not convinced? Well, Rubio Avenue was also born on this tract… and Hay also had a daughter named Ruby. He was a fan of punny streets, including Hayworth Avenue in WeHo, so I think this theory is sound. At any rate, Elizabeth Hay was a UC Berkeley grad who in 1926 married Kenneth Bechtel of the powerful Bechtel construction corporation. She later became big in ancient manuscript preservation and famously had the Dead Sea Scrolls photographed. P.S. There’s an off chance that “Libbit” actually refers to Elizabeth Amestoy Wells (1882-1952), whose parents bought Rancho los Encinos in 1889. Her sister Louise and niece Noeline were given namesake avenues on this same 1916 tract, so it’s possible, but I doubt it.