by Carl Vest
On South Hill at the intersection of 128th Street and 86th Avenue, near Rogers High School, there is posted a historic road sign announcing that 86th Avenue, at that point, was once known as Lundblad Road. It’s the only notice of such a name, in either direction, on 86th Avenue. The road is, however, one of the several historic thoroughfares that have been identified and marked on South Hill.
Lundblad Road was named for Chris Lundblad, who lived nearby, worked as a farmer, and was a property owner when the road was authorized and built. The thoroughfare was never a long path, actually measuring only about two and one-half miles in length. It was a north-south way, designed to connect local landowners to present-day 112th Street to the north and contemporary 152nd Street to the south. Its intersection with 112th Street is near the South Hill Grange building (just west of the entrance to Costco). In the south it dead-ends into 152nd Street.
The road was authorized and built in the late 1920s. It was started as the result of a Petition to the County from 24 local landowners. Chris Lundblad was the Principal Petitioner making the request. The proposed route was surveyed in November 1927 and approved by the County in May 1928. The approved width was 60 feet. Construction was completed shortly thereafter.
The area through which it was built was sparsely populated in the 1920s. Along the entire two and one-half mile stretch of the proposed path there were only seven property owners on the west side, including Chris Lundblad, who owned a small farm (about 30 acres). The east side had a few more settlers, with 14 property owners — some, however, were large timber companies. The road was built across generally open terrain. In the first mile from the northern terminus only three acres were considered dense enough to require heavy clearing. Field Notes also show that no extensive clearing was needed in either the second mile or in the terminal area.
Clearing obstacles was not a major problem. The surveyor found few structures along the proposed route. None were identified in the first mile. In the second mile one dwelling house had to be removed. At the terminal end, near Mitchell-Gould Road, two structures had to be torn down: one was a root cellar and the other an outhouse.
When built, the northern terminus dead-ended into an artery named the Midland-Summit Highway. That same path was also known as the K.J. Oversat County Road. Today we call it 112th Street. The southern end terminated at what was at that time the end point of the Mitchell-Gould Road; which had just been completed in 1925. Mitchell-Gould Road would not be finished as a through street until 1931 — and the added portion would be known as the Mitchell-Gould Road Extension. Today we call that road 152nd Street.
After 87 years the old Lundblad Road is still with us. We now call it 86th Avenue.
Carl Vest, PhD, is a founding member and Research Director for the South Hill Historical Society.