Green, Caroline “Carro” Benning
by Alison Eastaugh Browne
Caroline “Carro” Benning Green was born in 1885, in Washington, D.C. Carro (known as “Mimi” to her grandchildren) came to Juneau in 1912, to visit family friends, then Alaska Governor and Mrs. Walter E. Clark from West Virginia. She and Bob Robertson met in Juneau and were married in the newly constructed Governor’s mansion on Calhoun Avenue in the spring of 1913. The marriage was the first to take place in the Alaska Governor’s Mansion.
Bob and Carro first lived at 418 East 7th Street, a house that Bob cleared the land for and had built. They then moved next door to 709 Gold Street, to the house previously owned by Royal Arch Gunnison and his wife. Gunnison was a judge of the first Alaska Judicial Division.
Bob turned to law and was admitted to the Alaska bar in 1913, and joined Gunnison as a law partner at the salary of $125 per month. At that time, to “pass the Bar” and become a lawyer, one needed to work under a lawyer for two years. He won the first case he tried in August 1913, and was actively engaged in the practice of law for almost 50 years.
Bob was always interested in mining and was involved with mining law. He grubstaked several miners. Bob served as Mayor of Juneau in 1920-23. He said he was more of a street commissioner than mayor because that was where the problems were. He and Carro would walk Juneau’s streets at night to see which street lamps needed replacing.
For recreation, Bob tried golf but gave it up. The course of 9 holes was on the tailings at Thane from the Alaska Gastineau Mine, so it was all fine sand. The “greens” were smoothed by raking with a board. At high tide, only 5 holes were available. Bob and Carro would also ice skate at the Evergreen Bowl (Cope Park) and in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. They would also bobsled on Gold Street and on 9th Street hill in the winter. The police had strung red lights on wire across the intersections to encourage drivers to watch for children on sleds. Both Carro and Bob played tennis on wooden board courts near 9th and Gold Creek. Balls could take a very wild bounce when they landed on a crack. Carro was hit in the eye by a ball and lost part of the sight in that eye.
Bob and Carro built a cabin at Mile 13, Auke Bay, in the 1930’s, where they maintained a truck garden and strawberry patch.