Princess Kathleen, Lena Point

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Lena Point is at the south entrance to Lena Cove on Favorite Channel, about 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Juneau, Alaska. Lena Point was named in 1880 by Commander L.A. Beardslee of the U.S.S. Jamestown. At the same time he also named Favorite Channel for the little steamer Favorite and named Vanderbilt Reef for the steamer's master, Captain J.M. Vanderbilt. It may be that he named Point Lena for the captain's wife, Lena Vanderbilt.

The Vanderbilts came to Alaska in 1875 and lived at Wrangell, Killisnoo, and Sitka. J.M. Vanderbilt was a partner in the Northwest Trading Company, the company that established a trading post and whaling station at Killisnoo. Following Captain Vanderbilt's death in 1890, Lena taught school for several years, then married Edward de Groff who had been Captain Vanderbilt's business partner. She was one of the principal owners of the Chichagof Gold Mine for many years, and died in Los Angeles, California, February 2, 1929.

The SS Princess Kathleen was a passenger and freight steamship launched in 1924 and owned and operated by Canadian Pacific Steamships. She served the coastal communities of British Columbia, Alaska, and Washington. On September 7, 1952, Princess Kathleen ran aground at Lena Point. The crew tried to reverse off the rocks, however as the tide rose, her stern became swamped. All passengers and crew were transferred to lifeboats and ashore as she slid into deeper water and then sank. The wreck now sits in approximately 50-100 ft (15-30 m) of water and is accessible to divers, however, tides and currents in the vicinity of Lena Point are strong. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Lena Point.

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