Princess Kathleen, Lena Point

Princess Kathleen, Lena Point

by | Jul 24, 2020

Lena Point is at the south entrance to Lena Cove on Favorite Channel, about 63 miles (102 km) south-southeast of Haines and 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Juneau, Alaska. Lena Point was named in 1880 by Commander L.A. Beardslee of USS 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 DeGroff 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, on February 2, 1929.

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, the ship’s stern did not have enough buoyancy and flooded. All passengers and crew were transferred to lifeboats and brought to shore as Princess Kathleen 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. Explore more of Lena Point here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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