Up until 1941, the street along this site was officially known as La Belle Avenue, but the town’s residents called it “St. Ann’s Hill” after a summer home that existed on this highest point of Berwyn Heights.
The residence was built by Edward Graves in 1888, but from 1897 to 1956 it was used as a summer residence for pre-school orphans from St. Ann’s Orphanage of the District of Columbia. Even though St. Ann’s Infant Asylum only operated in the hot summer months, local residents kept this site’s nickname alive, as the hill was also known as the area’s most popular sledding trail.
La Belle Avenue was renamed Pontiac Street when the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission changed the street names in Berwyn Heights.