The red post and beam building was originally built in 1925 as a service station and lunch counter. The upstairs rooms were completed in 1935. It's made of stout clear timbers. Between 1935 and 1946 the upstairs rooms housed mill workers, employed at the National Lumber Mill nearby.
Roselea Triggs lived in one of the upstairs suites in the late 40's and early 50's before the log cabin was completed for her. She would wait tables by day, and write short stories at night. She submitted them for publication in ladies magazines. A file box full of her manuscripts were found in the attic. We copied several of them for guest to read while staying in Roselea's suite.
In the 50s, the upstairs rooms were rented to locals, many of them employed at Copper Creek Inn. Among them was Hank "Frenchie" Canty, who collected the natural alphabet on the outside of the building. A nephew of Frenchie frequents the restaurant today. He has given us a journal that tells stories of the bottle club at night, and busy restaurant by day. Most of the employees during the 50s were singles who would drink and dance at night, get things cleaned up to open for the tourists.
The cafe thrived through the 50’s, and was a favorite gathering place for locals & Mt Rainier visitors from around the world.
In the 70's a roof was put on the face of the building making the upstairs suites dark and unlivable. They were used mostly for storage.
In April of 2001, after 55 years in the same family, Copper Creek Inn was sold to Catharine Gallagher (previous owner of The old Mill House B&B in Eatonville) & her husband Phil Freeman.
Renovation was tackled at a frantic pace in hopes of completing some of the lodging by the busy summer season. The log cabin was completed first. . . Major renovation was necessary in the upstairs suites. Thanks to Terry Lamar our talented and tireless carpenter, the first suite, Frenchie's, opened in August of 2001. Knotty pine walls replaced the 60's plywood paneling. The original fir floors were refinished, leaving the pock marks from the cork boots of loggers who frequented Copper Creek in the early days.
Roselea's suite was completed soon after Frenchie's. The original bead board walls were salvaged in the rooms where Roselea once lived. The 1950's theme includes kitchen tools found in the storeroom during renovation. A jacuzzi tub makes Roselea's a romantic couples suite. . .
At left: Roselea and Frenchie the year they opened Copper Creek Cafe in 1946.
Roselea had a brief career in burlesque in New York before moving to Ashford. She and her husband purchased the building, and shortly after he left her with the restaurant. She didn't know how to cook, but she knew how to hire good cooks. She has been described at "The light of the community" by locals who remember her.