Monday, May 23, 2016

The naming and history behind Evans Creek

This is a 2008 post

According to the Minutes for the July 17, 2008 Planning and Public Works Committee chaired by Councilmember Hank Margeson, the committee held a discussion about naming city streamsMayor Marchione noted that "there is some debate regarding the current name of Evans Creek; the Historical Society believes the name of the stream is Martin’s Creek."  

In 1910, Ben Martin homesteaded on what is now known as Evans Creek. Below, is a brief description, provided by the Redmond Historical Society, on his history and life on the creek.  

Ben Martin’s homestead, c.1910
Martin, John “Ben” Benjamin 1827 - 1920:
Ben Martin was a Civil War veteran who fought for the North under Gen. Sherman.  John was a survivor of Gettysburg. He arrived in Redmond in 1875 coming with the John Perry family on a scow.  Read More >>

Entitled under the Civil War Veteran’s Land Grant, Ben paid $10 for his 160-acre homestead on the southeast corner of today’s Red Brick Road and Novelty Hill Road. A small creek feeds into Bear Creek on the Martin's homestead in two places.  As other settlers staked their homesteads, the area was soon to be known as Happy Valley.  
Over time, the name of the creek became known as Martin Creek. Ben died in 1920 at the age of 93, and at some point during the ensuing decades, the creek’s name on maps changed from Martin Creek to Evans Creek. Ben’s grandson Daryl Martin believes there was a “a fellow named Evans, don’t know the first name” living in the area for a time.
Listed in Polk Directory 1911-1912 as “Martin John.” Ben is buried in Old Redmond Cemetery. His headstone reads: “Co. A 4 Rest. VA. Vol. Inf”. Ben and his wife Ann Martin 1847 – 1925 had six daughters and five sons. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Special thanks to Miguel Llanos and the Redmond Historical Society for sharing this treasured photo and excellent historical research.  
 Note :by Susan Wilkins, Redmond geologist:  In the Washington Geologic Survey, Bulletin No. 8: Glaciation of the Puget Sound Region published by J Harlen Bretz in 1913, the creek is referred to as Evans Creek on the maps and in the accompanying text. Evans Creek *is* the historical name for the creek so I think it would be wrong and confusing to change it to Martin Creek

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