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Crown Point Chalet

Columbia Highway


The Chanticleer Inn was known for its extraordinary chicken dinners and magnificent views and it operated from 1912 to 1930.


Chanticleer was located 25 miles east of Portland on the Beautiful Columbia River Highway.

Built in 1912, about 25 miles east of Portland, on an elevation high above the bank of the Columbia River, the Chanticleer Inn hosted many a General, several Presidents and many foreign dignitaries. Before the Columbia River Highway was opened in 1915, the only way to reach Chanticleer was by taking a boat or the train to Rooster Rock and then riding or walking up the steep, unpaved road. After the highway opened, Chanticleer welcomed even more hungry motorists.

This early view shows Chanticleer just after it opened.


Spectacular views of the Columbia River were available to all who enjoyed the Porch at the Chanticleer Inn


In this view from 1916, the back porch was enlarged and enclosed.

You can’t talk about Roadhouses, without mentioning Mrs. M.E. (Margaret) Henderson. Famous for her chicken dinners and gracious hospitality, Mrs. Henderson was probably the most influential entrepreneur in the history of Columbia River Highway Roadhouses. She began her career working for Portland’s Meier & Frank Department Store as a waitress and window designer, and she used her skills in interior decorating to design and furnish her eating establishments.

Mrs. M.E. Margaret Henderson was known for her generous and kind heart and would go out of her way to help others.

Mrs. Henderson sold her house and teamed up with Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Morgan to open the Chanticleer Inn in 1912. Mrs. Henderson managed the Chanticleer Inn, building her reputation and her influence in the development of the Columbia River Highway. Her meals became so popular and attracted so much traffic that an improved road was eventually built. Dignitaries from all over the world traveled to experience her extraordinary hospitality.

Even though she entertained the rich and famous, Mrs. Henderson would not allow the consumption of liquors at her establishments.

Mrs. Henderson sold her interest in 1914 and went on to open the Latourell Falls Chalet, which burned after being open for only three months. She then moved on to open the very successful Crown Point Chalet.

Reception Hall inside the Chanticleer Inn from 1914.

Hotel Lobby at the Chanticleer Inn in 1914.

The Chanticleer Inn burned down October 8, 1930. It is said that a patron who was intoxicated and upset that liquor was not served, left a smoldering cigarette in the restroom wastebasket. You can still see the enchanted view from Chanticleer today, where Chanticleer stood, just west of Crown Point at the Women’s Forum Park.

It is one of many roadhouses that either burned down or were torn down in the name of “progress”. When the freeway was built, customers were diverted away from the Columbia River Highway and business dried up.


Chanticleer the Rooster was featured on an early Parade Float in Portland’s Rose Festival.

The name Chanticleer was the name given to a Carousel at Steeplechase Park at Coney Island. The Carousel was made in Europe and all of the carved wooden animals were Roosters. By misfortune, the ship sunk in a shipwreck on the way to America. The Carousel was  later salvaged and restored.

Chanticleer Carousel at Steeplechase Park after restoration in 1907.

Last updated 10-26-16

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