What is the origin of Maiden Lane's name?

The corner of Fifth and Maiden Lane was once home to a vinegar manufacturer. The Aug. 14, 1852, ad in The Quincy Herald-Whig was the earliest reference found for Maiden Lane. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 31, 2017 12:01 am

I would like to know the origin of Maiden Lane. This name is unusual in that other Quincy streets are states or presidents.

We weren't able to come across information on the origin of Maiden Lane.

The first reference we found to Maiden Lane was in the Aug. 14, 1852, issue of The Quincy Daily Whig. This was an ad for a vinegar manufacturer at the corner of Fifth and Maiden Lane. Charles Junker, according to the ad, "keeps always a large assortment of vinegar of his own manufacture, which article, so well known in this city, by its superior quality, he would recommend to wholesale and retail stores, grocers."

Jean Kay, reference library at the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, also found a reference to Maiden Lane in a city directory from 1861, which said it extended from Front Street east to Sixth Street. There was no indication of why it was called Maiden Lane.

"It's just amazing how many names of streets that no longer exist, like Brevis," Kay said. "It says it extends from State north to Maiden Lane east of Franklin Square."

There was also Nash, which extended from Vermont to Broadway east of 12th Street.

In 1974, the City Council approved closing 120 feet of Maiden Lane from Sixth Street west to allow for the expansion of the Knapheide Manufacturing Co. The firm asked for the closing to join its plant with a building planned along the west side of Sixth from Maiden Lane to Kentucky.

Does anyone know the origin of Maiden Lane? If so, let us know.

How can my question be answered? Just ask. We'll quiz community leaders, business officials, historians, educators -- whoever can tell us what you want to know. Submit questions to or mail them to Answers, The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62306. Provide a name and phone number so we can respond or clarify information. Questions dealing with personal or legal disputes will not be accepted.

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