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What's up with that?

The Empire ponders Juneau's puzzles, unravels its mysteries and contemplates its conundrums.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2002

Q: There's a little tiny community (looks like about four houses, and I also see a pickup truck, which makes me wonder if there's a road) about halfway between the old Treadwell community and Marmion Island. Are those private residences? Is there a road? How about a hiking trail out to see them? Any story behind why folks chose to build out there?

A: The cluster of cabins you refer to must be Lucky Me. Larry Traeger, who owns one of the cabins at that location, supplied this information about the origins of the settlement and its colorful name:

"Peter Anderson homesteaded this property in about 1915. Anderson logged from outlying areas around Juneau, and supplied timbers for the Treadwell and Ready Bullion mines. He built a home at Lucky Me for his family and lived there for many years. He then dismantled the home and rebuilt it on 12th Street in Juneau, where it still stands.

"He and his wife divided the Lucky Me property between their six children, Abel, Olga, Otto, Annie, Nina and Inga.

"The homestead law required that the property be used or it would revert to the government. Otto learned that the property was about to revert. He beat the deadline for 'proving up' by one day. That was on of his reasons for naming it 'Lucky Me.' "

Traeger said he's heard tour boat guides tell passengers that the settlement got its name after an owner won it in a lottery, but that is false.

Some of the nine cabins at Lucky Me are occupied year-round, while others are summer or weekend getaways.

And as for the truck, it's Traeger's. He said it's used for hauling boats in and out of the water, and for other work. There is no road to Lucky Me; the truck was brought in by water on a landing craft.

In early August, we looked into the sorry state of the loop road at the Eagle Beach Picnic Area out Glacier Highway. That potholed passage was the responsibility of the U.S. Forest Service, and therefore was not included in all the improvements at the adjacent Eagle Beach State Recreation Area that were completed over the summer.

As you may recall, federal funding was allocated to fix the loop road. However, due to concerns about the costs of fighting massive wildfires in Oregon, Arizona and other points south, the funding allocation was frozen at the time we checked in on the situation.

What's Up With That is happy to report the potholes are filled, the surface is smooth and - from personal experience - the revitalized road is a pleasure to drive on.

Lelia Vollmer, a facilities engineer with the U.S. Forest Service in Juneau, said Channel Construction spent several days last week grading the Eagle Beach access road, as well as the gravel on the Herbert River Road, at Lena Beach, at the Peterson Creek trailhead, the Mendenhall campground road and at the West Glacier trailhead.

After months of waiting, the local Forest Service office was given permission to award the road-grading contract, which allowed the work to take place.

Vollmer said things are looking up for local roads and parking areas maintained by the Forest Service. Instead of being shared and shuffled among several people, oversight of road maintenance will now fall under the watch of a new staffer in the local office.

"Now that she's here, she'll be an advocate for that program," Vollmer said. "Road maintenance should be happening more frequently."

Andrew Krueger feels, well, "lucky" to have written this column, and can be reached at akrueger@juneauempire.com. Send What's Up With That questions and comments to whatsup@juneauempire.com.



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