On the Whittier children, Jeanette and Judd

Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2009

I read Kim Andree's story about the renaming of Whittier Street in the Indian village where one proponent claims to have no knowledge of why it was ever named Whittier in the first place. I have had family living here continuously for 104 years and have a little knowledge of the subject from first hand conversation with Jeanette and Judd Whittier, the daughter and son of the Whittier family who gave the name to the street.

Jeanette Whittier married Robert Cowling and they owned the land and home right above Whittier Street near the Governor's Mansion. Below their house, on the Whittier land, is a garage and machine shop owned by Bob Cowling that remains there today. It was a rather unique piece of land ownership falling right in the middle of the land set aside for the Tlingit people.

The Whittiers had a right-of-way to the tidewater which in those days was just on the other side of Willoughby Avenue. Bob and Jeanette are both gone now as is Jeanette's brother Judd Whittier. They do have a daughter named Joanne Cowling Wilder, but I don't believe they live here year-round which is why probably they never said anything about the renaming of the street.

Bob Cowling for many years had a car dealership in downtown Juneau on the south corner of Front and Main streets which is now occupied by the Sealaska parking lot.

Maybe this information will help clarify the issue.

David Fremming


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