Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why Pink Street?

Why did the road from Bovina Center that takes you over to South Kortright and beyond become Pink Street? I've recently had two different inquiries concerning how Delaware County Route 5 got this colorful name. Unfortunately, I don't have a definitive answer to this yet.

The story I've heard most concerns the color of the laundry being hung out on the line. Apparently enough of it was pink to lead to that name. Another version a recent correspondent noted was that someone had inadvertently mixed something red in with their whites, turning them all pink. Since the name appears to have existed at least since 1910 and that most wash likely was still done in some manual form, this seems like an unlikely accident. The true answer to this question probably isn't going to be so colorful (pun intended).

I'm starting a research project to find out when the name first came into common usage. Know that may help us determine how the name came into usage. It does not show up on the Gould map from 1856 or the Beers Atlas from 1869 (though neither map labels roads). A review through the town tax rolls might give some clue, but I need to review other sources too. I'm finding that Pink Street is not unique to Bovina, even in Delaware County. There is a Pink Street in the town of Middletown above Kelly Corners. There was a schoolhouse there and at one time it was known as the Pink Street school. Rather confusing, given that there was a Pink Street school in Bovina too.

So stay tuned to find out if I find out how Pink Street got its name.

This postcard of Pink Street dates from the 1920s or 30s. The road was paved in the late 1930s. [Image scanned by the late Alan Davidson and submitted to the Delaware County Genealogy Website at]


  1. I had a note from Jan Bray with another story - the name came from the fact that a particular lady or several ladies hung out their pink panties or bloomers to dry. Again, an unverifiable story, but fun none the less.

  2. Hi Mr. LaFever. My name is Jason Sample and I think this is a wonderful way to share local history (I do something similar for Chautauqua County, NY).

    I was curious to know if you'd like to use your blog to help with a new Internet based project starting in Delaware County in January. There is no cost and really no additional work/writing. If anything, it would simply drive more people to this history blog you've set up on blogspot.

    Please let me know if you'd be interested. I'm in Delaware County December 6 - 10 and would be happy to discuss in person. Otherwise, you can reach me via Thanks.