Meet me on Lettuce Shed Lane | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Meet me on Lettuce Shed Lane

Special to the DailyLong before skiing, lettuce was the big business in the Avon area.
ALL |

AVON ” The new names for Avon’s future downtown are simple, direct and straight out of Anytown U.S.A.

The main street planned to run through the heart of a dense and bustling redeveloped downtown ” the center of all action and certifiable place-to-be for shops and restaurants ” will be called, well, Main Street, the name it’s had throughout the planning process.

Avon’s Main Street will join the 7,644 and counting Main Streets in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

You’ll also have a Lake Street, which will join at least 4,901 other Lake Streets in the U.S. This one will, as its name suggests, pass by Nottingham Lake and the park. This more geographically descriptive name will replace the north to south running West Benchmark, which will be moved and realigned west of the library and town hall so that drivers can actually see the lake as they pass by.

The section of Benchmark that passes the south end of the seasons will remain Benchmark.

The new transit center on Benchmark will be called Avon Station ” kind of like the most famous of transportation centers, Grand Central Station in Chicago, except this one is in Avon.

The entire revamped downtown area will be called Avon Town Center with small distinctions made between the east and west sides.

There is one glaring exception though to this familiar simplicity. A tiny pedestrian passage linking Main Street to Avon Station and the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is paying homage to an often overlooked aspect of Avon history: lettuce.

Yep, lettuce. Someday, you’ll be walking on Lettuce Shed Lane in Avon.

Main Street isn’t exactly exciting or creative, said Avon resident Joanna Henry, but most streets don’t have exciting or creative names. She felt the same way about Lake Street, Avon Station and Avon Town Center.

“At least we aren’t numbering our streets,” Henry said. “I’d hate having first and second street like we were in New York or something.”

Mayor Ron Wolfe said the name Main Street is pretty ordinary, but since it will actually be the main street in town other than Avon Road, the name makes sense, especially when giving directions.

“It’s a traditional street name for most American towns, and it’s obvious and directional,” Wolfe said.

Josh Wilhelm was indifferent to the new names.

“They’re just streets,” he said. “There’s not much to say about it.”

Gregory Dowd said Avon Town Center works ” but it doesn’t have the resorty ring of say, “Ever Vail,” a new development planned west of Lionshead.

“Simple names work though,” Dowd said. “It doesn’t have to sound like a ski resort.”

Henry was amused by the name Lettuce Shed Lane, but didn’t really understand it. Neither did Wilhelm. Perhaps it’s time for a history lesson.

Back in the 1920s, lettuce was one of the biggest crops in the area that is now Avon. Box cars loaded with ice from the Minturn ice house would wait at the depot to transport fresh cut lettuce delivered in crates by farmers and ranch hands.

The ice cars went as far at the east coast to provide fresh lettuce to people weeks after the nation’s standard lettuce harvest was gone.

“It’s certainly memorable, and it will evoke people to ask questions about the town,” Wolfe said.

The town council sifted through a long list of possible names for the streets downtown. There was a mix-and-match approach starting with a big bucket of famous names in Avon history as well as synonyms for street, such as “way”, “lane” and “place.”

Instead of Lake Street we could have had West Lake Road, Lakeview Road or Vista Road.

Councilman Brian Sipes had suggested Parkview Road because you not only see the lake, you see the park. Amy Phillips suggested Park Place, and an even simpler version, “Park Street,” almost made the final cut.

Instead of Main Street we could have had a play on William Shakespeare’s home in Stratford upon Avon with Stratford Street or Stratford Place. The council found both to be a bit corny.

Instead of Lettuce Shed Lane we could have had a play on Avon’s motto of The Heart of the Valley with “Heart Lane.” The council briefly considered naming that small street after one of many well known Nottinghams, Marie Nottingham. Mayor Ron Wolfe suggested naming that lane “Gondola Way” because that’s the way to the new Gondola to Beaver Creek at the Westin resort.

The name “Everkrisp Crossing” was even uttered at one point, referencing the old lettuce company.

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


Support Local Journalism


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User