Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Measure of Distance

On our way to the Burger Factory, the Husband's and my favorite mom-and-pop hamburger joint in Hollister, we drive by Furlong Alley. It's one of several one-block alleys in the downtown area. Furlong is hidden between San Benito and East Streets, running parallel with Second Street.

Until recently, whenever I saw the sign for Furlong Alley, I'd wonder what used to be there for the Navy guys who were stationed at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station during the 1940s. Was it a bar at which they hung out when they were in town? I asked the Husband if he thought that was the case. His answer: "You're thinking of furlough. Furlong is a measure of distance."


Furlong is one-eighth of a mile. 220 yards. I wonder why someone decided to name that stretch of road Furlong Alley? Could it be that once upon-a-time drivers needed that much of a running start to get their cars up Hill Street to Vista Park Hill, the highest point (about 380 feet high) in Downtown Hollister.

Today is all about the letter M at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday. That's where I'm hanging out. Come join me by clicking here.

Furlong Alley ends at San Benito Street.
Cross the street and you climb up Hill Street.


  1. Cute malapropism

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

  2. Furlong is used in horse racing a lot.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday

  3. Perhaps there was horseracing down that alley. Or, a bookie. Hmmmm.

  4. You would need to look back at old maps for a clue to this one

  5. Looking at the gradient of the hill of Hill St it really should be called Mountain St,
    thus giving you an M!
    Horse Racing use furlongs when describing the length of the course.
    A measure of distance indeed!
    Interesting post,

    best wishes,
    Abcw Team

  6. It would be pretty neat if Furlong Alley were actually 220 yards long. I don't know anything about horse racing, but I do know that Chicago's block system of buildings is based on each city block being one furlong. Neat post.

    SamuraiFrog, ABCW

  7. Very interesting, I love learning from posts.


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