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Transcribed from "Illustrated Altoona" pages 20-21
WHEN ALTOONA was laid out by Archibald Wright in 1850 all the public thoroughfares were called streets and were given names as follows:
Fourth Avenue, the street farthest to the southeast, was called Elizabeth Street.
Fifth Avenue was called Rebecca Street.
Sixth Avenue was called Helen Street.
Seventh Avenue was called Adeline Street.
Eighth Avenue was called Harriet Street.
Ninth Avenue was called Branch Street.
Tenth Avenue was called Main Street.
Eleventh Avenue was called Virginia Street.
Twelfth Avenue was called Emma Street.
Thirteenth Avenue was called Claudia Street.
Fourteenth Avenue was called Mary Street.
These only extended from Eleventh to Sixteenth Street at that time.
Eleventh Street was Katharine Street.
Twelfth Street was Annie Street.
Thirteenth Street was Julia Street.
Fourteenth Street was Caroline Street.
Fifteenth Street was Clara Street.
Sixteenth Street was called Agnes Street, but was only laid out from Elizabeth (Fourth Avenue)
to Adeline Street (Seventh Avenue ) where it merged with Clara Street, now Fifteenth; this being
the north-western boundary of the new town. These last named streets only extended from Elizabeth Street, now Fourth Avenue, to Mary Street, now Fourteenth Avenue.
The official borough plot had the same names of streets excepting that Tenth Avenue was there
designated as Railroad Street.
Some years afterward, when the city had grown con¬siderably larger and additional streets were
laid out, a new set of names seems to have been adopted for some of the old streets as a map
published by a Philadelphia firm in 1870 and bearing that date on its face, gives the following
names of streets and avenues. On this map:
Third Avenue is called Sarah Street.
Fourth Avenue is called Elizabeth Street, (as at first.)
Fifth Avenue is called High Street between Fourth and Sixteenth Streets
and Rebecca Street west of Sixteenth Street.
Sixth Avenue is called Mulberry Street from Fourth to Sixteenth Street
and Helen southwest of Sixteenth Street.
Seventh Avenue is called Washington Street from Fourth to Sixteenth Street
and Adeline, west of the latter.
Eighth Avenue is called Pine Street from Fourth to Sixteenth Street and
Harriet southwest of the latter.
Ninth Avenue retained its original name of Branch Street its entire length.
Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Avenues retained their original names
—Main. Virginia, Emma, and Claudia—while Fourteenth Avenue, although shown, was
left without a name.
Green. Chestnut, Lexington and Howard Avenues were shown on this map as we have
them now, except that Chestnut was called Lombaerdt northeast of Seventh Street.
Fourth Street was called Hester Street.
Fifth Street was called Spruce Street.
Sixth Street was called Bald Eagle Street.
Seventh Street was called Logan Street.
Eighth Street was called Lombaerdt Street.
Ninth Street was called Allegheny Street.
Tenth Street was called Grant Street.
Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Streets retained
their original names of Kathrine, Annie, Julia, Caroline and Clara, respectively.
Sixteenth Street was called Loudon Street.
Seventeenth Street and all the other streets to the Southwest to Twenty-seventh
were shown on this map, and given their numerical names as now.
At this date the town had grown in all directions and contained six Wards. The present
Seventh Ward was included in the First, and the Eighth with the Second. No lots or blocks
were shown below Fourth Street on the east side of the railroad, nor southeast of Third
Avenue on that side of the city.
Washington Avenue was known as Dry Gap Road until about 1890.
Broad Avenue was universally known as Broad street until about 1893.
Union Avenue is the line of the old plank road from Altoona to Hollidaysburg. Later it
was changed to a pike road, and was only condemned and taken by the
city in 1893. It was commonly called the Plank Road until very recently.
The part of Lexington Avenue in the Seventh Ward was called Chestnut Street until some
time about 1884, and the part of Chestnut Avenue below Seventh Street was Lombaerdt.
Council changed this by abolishing the name Lombaerdt and calling it Chestnut its entire
length, and extending the name of Lexington from Seventh Street to city limits northeast.
Howard Avenue in Seventh Ward was called Hickory Street.
First, Second and Third Streets in Seventh Ward were originally called, respectively,
Louisa, Mary and Margaret. Fourth Street being named Hester as before stated.
The names first given to the streets and avenues were usually those of the former owners
of the ground or their wives or daughters. Hester Mary Pike and Margaret Bell Mowery owned
the ground on whiich the town of Logan, now Seventh Ward of Altoona was laid out in 1853 and 1854.
Keywords/Tags: Street Names, Illustrated Altoona, Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania