Street Naming Research Needs Your Help

Fri, 03/10/2023 - 10:30

Winchester Planning Director Tim Youmans is wrapping up a nearly two-decade effort to document all of the named public and private streets and alleys within the limits of the current corporate boundaries of the City of Winchester. Many of the names are former or alternative names for the streets and alleys. The historical names include names for roadways that were not within the original boundaries of the city.

A huge portion of the current 9.3-square mile City was added in with the last annexation on January 1, 1971. For example, portions of Berryville Pike, Millwood Pike, and Valley Pike became Berryville Ave, Millwood Ave, and Valley Ave respectively when sections of those roadways were annexed into the city.

Youmans began the project as an effort to build from a social studies report that his daughter started when she was a student at Daniel Morgan Middle School in 2004. The assignment was to identify all of the streets within the city named for Civil War figures. As it turns out, there are approximately 57 roadways named for persons exclusively known for their role as a Civil War figure. That number does not include other local figures such as Charles Broadway Rouss who happened to serve as a private in the Confederate Army but was more importantly known for his generosity toward the construction of major buildings within the city years after the war.

Last year, George Schember, president of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, and Frances Lowe and Bob Grogg who serve on the Publication Committee encouraged Youmans to complete his extensive research and submit the work for publication. Youmans agreed but was research has been delayed by several roadways for which he could not ascertain any name origin.

As of February 15, 2023, Youmans submitted a draft of the work to Grogg, noting that he will continue researching the remaining unknowns before the piece goes to print. Grogg characterizes the work as a ‘Gazetteer’ of Winchester city roadways. The effort builds off a publication undertaken by Dr. Garland Quarles in 1958 when the origin of only 108 streets were covered. The latest version of Youmans’ work includes 566 current or former street names.

Out of the currently named street and alley entries, Youmans is seeking help from the community on 12 (as of 3/16/23) street names. He is asking if anyone knows the name's origin or can point him on the trail toward verifying any of them. Many of the names on the list are of a person or family.

List of names and some supporting information:

  1. Brooke Rd- Maybe U.S. Brig General John Brooke, last surviving US General in 1926. Only short westernmost segment between N. Loudoun St and Brick Kiln Rd situated within the city limits.
  2. Bruce St- (not Bruce Dr in SE part of City) West of Battle Ave was Smithfield Farms Subdivision by HW Butler (1964); East of Battle was Briarcliff Subdivision by J.P. Darlington (1976)
  3. Douglas St- (not Douglas Ave that was up near Douglas School). Built with Acorn Heights Subdivision by Fuller, Yost & Sartelle (1928) north of Cedar Creek Grade and west of Valley Ave.
  4. Grove St- Grenawalt Add'n/E.E. Greenawalt (1918). Originally Norris Ave but renamed Grove by City Council on 11-9-1954
  5. Harrison St- Opequon Terrace Subdivision by J.L. Crisman (1927)
  6. Ivy St- Unimproved street in West Whitlock Estates Subdivision by O.T. Ritter (1935) Possibly named for Ivy Harmer who married James O. Ritter. All 3 buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery.
  7. Jones St- Small street connecting Monticello and Armour Dale in the Kernstown Subdivision by James Armour (1923
  8. Kathy Ct- Westside Station Subdivision by Westside Medical Properties, Russ Potts, Delbert Sibert, Graham Nelson (1987)
  9. Lewis St- South part was Bellview Hgts Subdivision by Fred L. Glaize Co (1955), North part was Toan & Yost Addition by Chas. Toan & Jacob Yost (1955)
  10. Melvor Ln- North of Sterling Dr was Willow Lawn Cottages Subdivision by Willow Branch LLC {Shockey, Ward, Aikens} (2002); South of Sterling Dr was Meadow Branch South Subdivision by Shockey & Ward (2003)
  11. Robyn Terr- Hillcrest Addition by H. Herrell, L. Hockman, J. Cather, Ge. Lemly & Ga. Lemly (1923) Renamed from Shenandoah Terr by City Council on 3-13-1973.
  12. Sumpter Ct- Hillcrest Addition by H. Herrell, L. Hockman, J. Cather, Ge. Lemly & Ga. Lemly (1923) This unimproved right-of-way appears as rear yard for Hillside Terrace and Hockman Ave lots. Formerly named Summit St.
  13. Tower Ave- Opequon Terrace/J.L. Crisman (1927). Possibly a water tower was present in the orchard nearby.
  14. Wyck St- Cumberland Valley RR (mid- to late-1800s). Possible origins of name:
    • Dr. Weicht (Dr. Quarles guess)
    • 'Wye k' -a plausible railroad spur (aka siding) annotation (i.e. Wye H, Wye J, Wye K)
    • US Brig Gen C.H. Van Wyck (wounded in VA during Civil War)
    • NYC Mayor Robert Van Wyck (heavily involved with railroads)

If you know the name origin of any of these roadways or know of someone who might know, please contact Tim Youmans via email at: or call him at Rouss City Hall (540-667-1815, ext. 1415).