Tag Archives: name of the hill

Who named Beacon Hill?

Robert Ketcherside in the CHS Capitol Hill Seattle blog has a great historical article about the first Broadway streetcar, from the 1890s. Why am I mentioning it here on the Beacon Hill Blog, you ask? Scroll on down to the addendum to the article and you’ll find a discussion about the murky origins of the name of Seattle’s Beacon Hill:

“Someone on Beacon Hill needs to stop freakin’ and figure out who really named Beacon Hill and why.”

Apparently there isn’t any paper trail for the commonly accepted origin story — that M. Harwood Young moved to Beacon Hill from Boston and named it after the famous Boston location. It could be true. But as far as the current sources are concerned, there isn’t really anything concrete.

“At least up here we have a healthy debate about the origin of Capitol Hill,” says Ketcherside. “…Down on Beacon Hill they settle for tacit acceptance of a hole-ridden story.”

Anyone up for a research challenge?