What’s in a Name - Streets of New Town
Posted on February 1, 2020 7:00 AM by June Dawkins
Recent articles have delved into the history of Roper Park and reported on why New Town’s newest neighborhood is called Shirley Park. For others living here, how many of you have wondered how your street, as well as the common areas and neighborhoods of New Town, got their names?
According to Robert Casey and his son in law, Town Management President Randy Casey-Rutland, who provided the details for this article, some of the street names and locations were chosen to recognize the people who were instrumental in founding the New Town community. Casey Boulevard is a major entry. Joe Stettinius, Larry Salzman, active managing Board Member, and John McCann all will have streets bearing their names in Shirley Park. Stettinius was one of the founding New Town visionaries and advisors. McCann was for many years the CEO of New Town Associates, which developed New Town. Stettinius and McCann are no longer living, but Salzman continues his role in leadership, which he has done since New Town’s inception. Sullivan Square behind Legacy Hall is named for Tim Sullivan, the 25th president of the College of William and Mary. The College is a partner in New Town Associates. There are plans for a marker in Pecan Square at the Ironbound entrance to be dedicated to Robert’s father, Carlton Coleman Casey, the father of Robert and his brothers Carleton and Lewis. The family land formed the majority of New Town.
Robert says other names were chosen to recognize Casey family members. Most of these are streets in Charlotte Park. Do you live on Elizabeth Davis Boulevard? She was Robert Casey’s grandmother and Ercil was Lewis’ wife. Lucretia Way is named for Robert’s and his brothers’ great aunt, the Olive of Olive Drive was their mother, and their great grandmother was a Rollison.
In naming the streets in other neighborhoods, except Village Walk and Settlers Market, where names were chosen by their builders, Helen was chosen because it is the name of more than one family member. Luanne is a cousin, but the actual spelling differs. All potential street names must be submitted to and approved by James City County. If a name is too similar to one in existence, it needs to be modified, as was the case here.
Most of the other street names in New Town are female. These and the neighborhood names, like Savannah Square and Chelsea Green, and were chosen because they were of British origin in recognition of the Williamsburg area’s colonial past. So, if you live on Shannons or Lydias, Brittany, Beverly or Marthas, your street was meant to evoke a sense of history, rather than to serve as a tribute to a specific person, although there certainly were plenty of real Marthas in colonial Virginia.
And what about Victoria’s Way? Is it a secret? No, it was named for the queen!