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Captain and Mrs. J. M. Vanderbilt came to Alaska with her husband about 1875 and lived at Wrangell, Killisnoo, and Sitka. Following Captain Vanderbilt's death in 1890, she taught school for several years, then married Edward de Groff who had been Captain Vanderbilt's business partner. One of the principal owners of the Chichagoff Gold Mine for many years, she died at Los Angeles, California, February 2, 1929. Lena Point - the end of a prominent peninsula on the mainland 16 miles northwest of Juneau. A loop road reaches the peninsula from Glacier Highway. Lena Cove is just north of the peninsula and Lena Creek discharges into the eastern side of the cove. Lena Point was named in 1880 by Commander L.A. Beardslee of the U.S.S. Jamestown. At the same time he named Favorite Channel of 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, Mrs. Lena Vanderbilt.


John W. Vanderbilt, the son of Captain J.M. Vanderbilt of the Northwest Trading Company, grew up in Wrangell, Killisnoo, and Sitka. In 1896 he went to Fortymile as storekeeper for the Alaska Commercial Company and spent some time in the Interior. In 1906 and 1907 he lived near Vanderbilt Hill as watchman for one of the mining properties at Lemon Creek. Later he spent some years at Chichagof were his mother, Mrs. Lena Vanderbilt DeGroff, owned a principal interest in the Chichagof Mine. During the first World War he served with the Tank Corps in France. No further information about him has been attained. Vanderbilt Hill - the end of the ridge of the unnamed mountain north of Salmon Creek, which makes a hill on Glacier Highway approximately 4.3 miles northwest of Juneau. It was apparently named for John W. Vanderbilt, who lived for some time in that vicinity.

 

 
 

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