Mohawk Street

Named in 1887 on the Washington Heights tract, owned by John S. Maltman and Oliver A. Ivers. Maltman was a Scotsman who came to L.A. by way of Michigan; Ivers was a native Michigander. The ancient Mohawk people were centered in today’s upstate New York, and although their territory stretched out well beyond that, it didn’t reach Michigan. In short, I found no special meaning behind the naming of this street. Indeed, aside from Ivers Avenue (now Elsinore Street), the other street names on the tract seemed arbitrarily chosen: Girard (now Waterloo Street), Peabody (now Rosemont Avenue), and Gladstone (later merged into Mohawk). Native American names were used all over the place in those days, regardless of geographical relevance – there was a Mohawk in Arizona, a Mohawk Valley in Oregon, and a Mohawk in Northern California – so whoever christened this street probably just thought “Mohawk” looked cool.