Who was Harriett “Nellie” M. Cooper?

Nellie Hooper, 1888. GPN250.

Harriett “Nellie” M. Cooper (1845–1905) moved to Nantucket from St. Johns, Newfoundland, in 1882 to marry George Hooper, who owned an ice-cream business on Broad Street. Since 1850, his parents had run an ice-cream saloon on Centre Street, which Nellie and George eventually took over.

In all, the Centre Street store ran for more than half a century, during nearly half of which Nellie was a well-known presence behind the counter. In the 1890s, she also ran a boarding house on Broad Street and was active in many local social and charitable organizations.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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