micflash2 hoot-owl-art-sca
MR MOON1aa amparkart2

Chanticleer Inn


Columbia River Highway


The Crown Point Chalet, which overlooked Crown Point, opened in 1915, two years before the Vista House was built and a year before the Columbia River Highway opened.

Mrs. M.E. (Margaret) Henderson had established her abilities to satisfy the palettes of the rich and famous before the Columbia River Highway was built, while working at the Chanticleer Inn in 1912. Sam Hill, who is credited with designing the Columbia River Highway, decided more people should experience the ambiance of the Chanticleer Inn and he campaigned for a new highway to bring those people to Chanticleer. Mrs. Henderson, or Bidy, as she was called, opened her first eating establishment, the Latourell Falls Chalet in 1914, but it was lost to a fire three months after it opened. Not one to give up, Mrs. Henderson set out almost immediately to build again. Bidy enlisted the help of many of Portland’s prominent businessmen, who bought $20 dinner books.


This time, she chose a spot overlooking picturesque Crown Point and christened the new establishment The Crown Point Chalet.


Opening the Crown Point Chalet on May 15, 1915, Mrs. Henderson quickly affirmed her ability to attract the rich and famous. Dignitaries far and wide would make their way to the Crown Point Chalet to experience Mrs. Henderson’s legendary hospitality and country-fried chicken served in the ambiance of a mountain chalet.


An early interior view of the beautiful Crown Point Chalet, which was designed and furnished by Mrs. Henderson.


View of the dining room at the Crown Point Chalet.


Mrs. Henderson 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.

The guest books of the Crown Point Chalet have survived and they contain over 73,000 entries of satisfied patrons. Among them were Henry Kaiser, Frank Woolworth, Mrs. Marshall Field, Eddie Rickenbacker, Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Henry Ford, Jack Pickford and Harold Lloyd.

In December, the first winter it was open, the roof blew off and it was quickly replaced. Failing health caused Mrs. Henderson to sell the Chalet in 1927. Moving to Portland, Mrs. Henderson opened a modest Third Floor Dining Room on Alder Street. She died at the age of 58 in 1930 after battling a chronic kidney infection. Eventually, the long-vacant, deteriorated building was demolished in the 1950s.

Last updated 10-26-16

copyright © 2017 PdxHistory.com

[Portland History] [Site Map] [Amusement Parks] [Historic Portland] [Department Stores] [Streetcars] [Railroads] [Mt Hood] [Battle Axe] [Oregon Coast] [Post Card History] [Portland Hotels] [Portland Neighborhoods] [Getaways] [Contact Us]