Sometimes the obvious explanation for a street's name isn't the right one.
If you drive east on the 10 freeway and get off at University Avenue, you end up at the University of Redlands. But Daniel Lewis of the Huntington Library says it's not what you think.
"It was not named University Avenue because of the University of Redlands, but because of Stanford University. The land was owned by J.D.B. Stillman, who was Leland Stanford's personal physician. And when Stanford gave him the land in the 1890s, he was so grateful and delighted that he named the new street leading to his land in honor of Stanford's new fledging university up in Northern California. So really a kind of geographic disconnect, but a naming reason nonetheless; a naming reason, you might say."
Stanford did not return the favor. There's no Stillman street in Palo Alto.
(Airdate for this story: 7/28/07)