LT Mile 91.3 — Division 5 — Elev. 3850 ft.

Cooper Lodge replaced the Killington Stone Hut.

The new Charles P. Cooper Memorial Lodge was erected in 1939 by the Vermont State Forestry Dept. under the direction of Mr. Perry H. Merrill, State Forester, on land given to the State by Mr. Mortimer R. Proctor. [GB 12th Edition 1940] This lodge is located 100 ft. downhill on the LT from the Killington spur junction near sites of the old hotel and the round tin shelter. To the west of the lodge is the Bucklin Trail. It is a stone and wood construction with bunks for 12. It is located on land given to the state by Mortimer R. Proctor, former president of the GMC and later governor of Vermont and named in honor of Charles P. Cooper, president of the Club when a considerable portion of the LT was complete. It is the highest shelter on the LT. There are springs 100 ft. west on the Bucklin Trail and 325 ft. north on the LT. A GMC roving caretaker may be present to help hikers protect the high-elevation ecosystem around Killington Peak as well as manage other overnight sites in the Coolidge Range. An over-night fee may be charged. It has been in use from 1939 to present. [GB 24th Edition 1996] It was extensively repaired in 1969 by the Vermont Dept. of Forests and Parks. [GB 22nd Edition 1983] The stove has been removed. [LT News, February 1977]

Charles Cooper on Firetower, 1921
Charles Cooper on Firetower, 1921

Charles P. Cooper Memorial. Near the cold spring, just under the brow of Killington, that every climber to the peak will remember with joy and longing, is the new Cooper Memorial Lodge. It stands about on the site of the hotel that some forty years ago welcomed visitors fleeing in their horse drawn carriages from the heat of the valley below. Here too was the steel camp that for many years withstood the cold and heat as well as the guns of roving sportsmen and the stone shelter that also provided a sort of haven for the weary hiker.

The new lodge was built by members of the Plymouth CCC camp under the direction of the Vermont Forestry Service in cooperation with a committee of the club headed by Cola J. Cleveland of Rutland. The land on which the camp stands has been deeded to the state by Mortimer R. Proctor of Proctor. The building operation was started in 1938 but had to be discontinued at the time of the hurricane in September of that ye’&’ and the work was completed in the summer and fall of 1939.

Cooper Lodge, 2012
Cooper Lodge, 2012

The accompanying cut gives a good view of the lodge and its sightly location above the stunted, wind-blown spruces of the peak. It overlooks the Otter Creek Valley and in the distance are the Taconics in the west with Pico and lesser peaks on the main range to the north. The building is about 18 x 20 feet in size. The rear part is built of stone to the roof and the front half is stone to the bottom of a long row of windows that extends clear across the front and halfway of the two ends. Above the windows the structure is of wood. In the interior are tables, seats and the usual bunks offering sleeping room for eight [LT News, Oct 1939] Dedicated June 2, 1940. [LT News, May 1940] The Killington Section can no longer take care of maintenance and is turning care over to the main Club. [LT News, Nov. 1959] The LT Patrol completed extensive repairs on the roof which was badly rotted, window frames were rebuilt, and 2 bunks were repaired. Much packing was saved by the new Killington Basin Char lift. [LT News, August 1960] After extensive repairs in 1960, there was vandalism which required further repairs this year., A new stove was installed, window replacements (2 new 6 pane sashes and 30 panes of glass) and the roof seams med. Materials for the windows cost $20.77. The chair lift transportation was free. [LT News. Nov 1961] NOTICE – Due to adult vandalism, all 96 panes of glass have been smashed out We are forced to make this an open shelter. We plan to clean up the place, replace a missing stove part, put in new stove pipe, and install screening over the windows to prevent porcupine entry. [LT News, August 1962]