Street Name Changes
Pullman's avenues were originally named after inventors. The street names were to have changed in 1907, when the city of Chicago annexed Pullman; however, many of the old names were still in use up until the 1930s.
Corliss Avenue is named after the inventor of the "Corliss Engine", George Henry Corliss (1817-1888). The Corliss Steam Engine originally powered the Pullman works and provided steam heat for the public buildings in the town.
Maryland Avenue is named for the state of Maryland. The state, in turn, is named the wife of King Charles I, Henrietta Maria. Charles was king at the time of the founding of the province in 1634. Maryland was originally named Ericsson Avenue (spelling varied on different maps). Ericsson is named after John Ericsson (1803-1889), inventor and engineer. He would have captured Mr. Pullman's attention because he developed and built the first ironclad, the U.S.S. Monitor which famously saw action in the American Civil War.
Doty Avenue honors Duane Doty, original Pullman town manager.
A street that no longer exists in North Pullman was Bessemer Avenue, named after Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), the inventor of a revolutionary method of making steel. His system is still in use today.
Langley Avenue was probably named for Esther Langley, a relative of real estate developer, entrepeneur, and manufacturer Sivert Tobias Gunderson. Langley was originally Fulton Avenue, named for Robert Fulton (1765-1815). Fulton was an American engineer and inventor who developed the first commercially viable steamboat.
Champlain honors Samuel De Champlain (1567-1635), French explorer and navigator who founded the city of Quebec. Champlain was originally Stephenson Avenue, named for George Stephenson (1781-1848). Stephenson Avenue occupied pride of place in the center spine of the town because the man the avenue honors built the first public railway line. All railways today are descended from this first railway; he also developed the standard gauge of railways (1440 mm, 4 feet 8 and half inches) still in use today.
St. Lawrence Avenue is named after the St. Lawrence River, which connects the great lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. St. Lawrence is named, in turn, after the early Christian Martyr St. Lawrence (225-258 AD), deacon of Rome. He was killed in the persecution of Christians by Emporer Valerian by roasting him to death over an open grate. Before 1907, St. Lawrence was Watt Avenue. James Watt (1736-1819) invented, among many other things, the first modern and efficient steam engine.
Forrestville was a small town on the south side in the 1850s. It was located near Hyde Park. The street name honors this now vanished town. Forrestville was originally named Morse, named for Samuel Morse (1791-1872), developer of the single wire telegraph system and famously the Morse code.
Cottage Grove has a long history. Charles Cleaver (1814-1893) developed a suburb south of Chicago on the Illinois Central line called Cleaverville in the 1850s. Cleaverville eventually became the Oakland neighborhood north and west of Hyde Park. Cleaver named the street after a grove of shady trees that surrounded a cottage in his development. The grove was a popular meeting spot for early settlers.