FELIKS BANEL

All Over The Map: Aplets Way and other Northwest ‘Brand-Name Streets’

Mar 19, 2021, 10:14 AM | Updated: 11:40 am
Street names...
What KIRO Radio resident historian Feliks Banel calls "brand-name streets" are a fixture in many communities in the Evergreen State, including (L-R) Aplets Way in Cashmere; Farman Street in Enumclaw; and Microsoft Way (aka 157th Ave NE) in Redmond. (Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

The Aplets & Cotlets factory in Cashmere may be gone soon, but two roads in the Chelan County town that were named after the candies are probably here to stay. That got us wondering about other “brand-name streets” in the area.

Back in the 1990s, Liberty Orchards, maker of Aplets & Cotlets since around 1920, considered a move west to Leavenworth. It’s a complicated story – almost like when a sports franchise pits one city against another to get a better deal – but a negotiation began, whereby the City of Cashmere tried to keep Liberty Orchards from leaving town. Liberty Orchards president Greg Taylor asked the city for a number of incentives, including renaming streets.

“We don’t have good visibility from the highway and so we tried to come up with ways that could increase the visibility of our presence in Cashmere and lead people to us,” Taylor told KIRO Radio on Thursday. “And so we came with the idea of changing the street names, … which would put additional signage on [Highway 2] and give people a path to our factory tour.”

“And so we proposed [the street renaming], and we proposed some other things, some more parking and that kind of thing,” Taylor continued.

Taylor says most people in town were supportive of Liberty Orchards’ request, “but there was a small minority of very vocal people who kind of stirred up the hornet’s nest, and it turned into a real conflict in the community.”

“It was a surreal deal,” Taylor said.

At the height of the controversy in October 1997, the New York Times even weighed in with a story about the sticky situation – “Old-Fashioned Town Sours On Candymaker’s New Pitch.” Greg Taylor says New York Times’ writer Tim Egan described him in the piece as a “corporate bully,” which Taylor now chuckles about.

“People love that I was called a ‘corporate bully,’ and remind me of that,” even now, Taylor said.

Does Taylor officially deny that he was a “corporate bully”?

“I don’t think I am, certainly not now,” Taylor said, still chuckling. “Maybe I was then, who knows? I’ve softened.”

The timeline is a little murky, but at some point in the fall of 1997, the Leavenworth deal fell through because Taylor said the move and the tenant improvements required at the space in the faux Bavarian village didn’t pencil out. Ultimately, the City of Cashmere balked at most of what Liberty Orchards had asked for, but on Nov. 24, 1997, the City Council voted to change the name on the part of Division Street leading from Highway 2 to the factory “Aplets Way,” and change part of Cottage Street alongside the factory to “Cotlets Avenue.”

Cashmere Mayor Jim Fletcher told KIRO Radio earlier this week that there are no immediate plans to change the names back if and when Liberty Orchards goes out of business and the Aplets & Cotlets factory shuts down.

Meanwhile, Cashmere – which was originally known as Mission, but which changed its name in 1903 to reflect its agricultural aspirations to mimic the lush “Vale of Kashmir” in India – isn’t the only Evergreen State community where streets have been renamed for companies or products. Here are a few other notable examples.

Farman Street in Enumclaw

Farman Street in Enumclaw goes right by the site of the old Farman Brothers – “Home of the King Pickle” – pickle factory. Farman’s was a major pickle brand in the Northwest for decades. It was founded in Enumclaw in 1944 by Fred Farman and Dick Farman; the company was sold to Nalley’s in the 1980s and closed in 1989, with cuke and brine operations moved to Tacoma.

Incidentally, both Nalley’s and Farman’s are now manufactured by Bay Valley Foods, whose pickle plants are located very, very far from Enumclaw and even Tacoma, for that matter: in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina.

In 1981, a few blocks of the boringly named “284th Avenue Southeast” north of Highway 410 were renamed “Farman Street” not for the company, exactly, but for company co-founder Fred Farman, who was the beloved mayor of Enumclaw when he died of a heart attack in May of that year.

City Council minutes indicate that Crystal Street North was the street designated to change names to Farman Street, but it’s unclear if that part of 284th was known by that name 40 years ago. Regardless, though Farman’s closed in 1989, the street name remains – and perhaps should be considered a tribute to Fred Farman rather than to the old pickle factory.

Microsoft Way in Redmond

The software giant moved to Redmond from the Northup area of Bellevue — they had been in small building not far from the Burgermaster — in February 1986. A spokesperson told KIRO Radio in an email that sometime around then, Microsoft took action via a City of Redmond building permit to convert the uninspiring “157th Ave NE” to “Microsoft Way,” and to designate the company’s official mailing address as “One Microsoft Way.”

The actual dates are unclear, but one of the earliest online reference using that address is a classified ad in a Texas newspaper from September 1989 looking for technical writers willing to relocate to the Northwest.

Other Brand-Name Streets?

Other examples of brand-name streets include Weyerhaeuser Way near the timber company’s former headquarters complex in Federal Way; the Boeing Access Road in Seattle near Boeing Field; and Costco Drive – which exists in both Tukwila and Burlington, and which, not surprisingly, both lead to the front door of the respective Costco in those communities.

Related examples that don’t quite fit would include Rainier Avenue, which was most definitely not named for the beer; the Nalley Valley Viaduct, an unofficial but once very common name for Highway 16 west of I-5 in Tacoma (Nalley’s operations there closed in 2011); and the entire city of Carnation, which was formerly Tolt, but which was renamed by the state legislature in 1917 for the Northwest-born dairy company.

Are there any brand-name streets in your community that we missed? Please reach out via my contact information below.

You can hear Feliks every Wednesday and Friday morning on Seattle’s Morning News, read more from him here, and subscribe to The Resident Historian Podcast here. If you have a story idea, please email Feliks here.

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All Over The Map: Aplets Way and other Northwest ‘Brand-Name Streets’