Patata Street

Patata is Spanish for “potato”, and although most Spanish speakers outside of Spain itself now use the word papa, 19th century Californios regularly said patata. Does that mean potatoes once grew where Patata Street now lies? We can assume so, even if there’s no hard evidence. The street was named in 1907 on the Cudahy Villa tract: meatpacking king Michael Cudahy (1841-1910) purchased this land back in 1893 for pig stockyards, and while said stockyards never materialized, Cudahy’s company did grow multiple crops here – including potatoes. “Patata”, a small farming settlement on or near Cudahy’s land, was named by 1896. A few years later, there was a Southern Pacific railroad depot here called Patata; it was renamed Cudahy station in 1908. For what it’s worth, young Michael Cudahy fled Ireland at the height of its potato famine.