Cooper Spur History

The north side of Mt. Hood is steeped in history. The people of Hood River had long admired Mt. Hood, and there was a great urge to make it accessible. In the 1880s, several expeditions lead by Portland minister Thomas Lamb Eliot resulted in area’s landmarks (Eliot’s Glacier), Lost Lake, Coe Glacier (after Captain Henry Coe) and Cooper Spur – named after David Rose Cooper. Cooper had joined with Coe and Oscar Stanahan to form the Mount Hood Trail and Wagon Company to build a toll road and operate passenger service.

David Rose Cooper was very much the frontier type and spent a great deal of time exploring Mt. Hood, so much that the prominent outcropping on Mt. Hood’s north face was named after him. David Rose Cooper uprooted from Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1872 (where the Cooper family had lived for more than 300 years), and moved his wife Marian and their children to settle in America. After a trek across the country, David and Marion Cooper originally settled near Roseburg, in southern Oregon. David Rose heard so much about the magnificent mountain overlooking the great gorge to the north that he moved his family to Hood River in 1883.

In 1885 he and his wife Marian (who has the distinction of being the first white woman to live in the upper Hood River Valley) established the first “hotel” on the north side – a seasonal tent camp which included a cook tent, dining tent and sleeping tents. The ten children in the family helped by splitting wood, stoking the fires, fishing for trout and hunting deer for the hotel bill of fare. It was Cooper’s idea to bring settlers and tourist into the Upper Hood River Valley and onto the mountain.

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