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Alpine Inn Motel
Cooper Landing is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States, about 100 miles (160 km) south of Anchorage, at the confluence of Kenai Lake and Kenai River. The town was first settled in the 19th century by gold and mineral prospectors, and has become a popular Summer tourist destination thanks to its scenic wilderness location and proximity to the world-class salmon fishery of the Kenai River and Russian River. As of the 2010 census, the population in Cooper Landing was 289.
Cooper Landing was named for Joseph Cooper, a miner who discovered gold there in 1884. However, Peter Doroshin, a Russian engineer, had identified gold prospects as far back as 1848 when the territory was still part of Russian America.
Cooper Creek was first recorded in 1898 by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1900, the Census found 21 miners and 1 wife living at Cooper Creek. The Riddiford Post Office began operations in 1924, and the Riddiford School opened in 1928.
In 1938, a road was constructed to Seward. In 1948, a road to Kenai was opened, and by 1951, residents could drive to Anchorage. The Cooper Landing Community Club was first formed in 1949. The Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Facility was constructed in 1959-60.
In 1946, Pat and Helen Gwin arrived in Cooper Landing which had about 100 residents then. The Gwins eked out a living by operating a small packaged goods store out of a tent. That same year, construction began on the highway from Cooper Landing to Homer. The Sterling Highway, the road that is the artery of the Kenai Peninsula, opened in 1950 and subsequently the Seward Highway opened in 1951.
The Cooper Landing Post Office is the oldest building in the area that is still used and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.