On the third Wednesday of May I’ll be giving a presentation about my book on the 1935 Matanuska Colony for the Palmer Historical Society’s History Night. Through photos, stories, and a look at the history behind the Colony Project, I’ll share what led me to write the book, how my research was done, and what I learned about this important chapter of Alaska’s history, when 200 families traveled north on a government troopship to carve their homes and farms from the Alaskan wilderness.
Although fraught with inevitable bureaucratic entanglements, frustrating delays, and a variety of other distractions, the Matanuska Colony actually thrived for the most part. Highways were built, the wide Matanuska and Knik Rivers were bridged, and the town of Palmer became the center of commerce and society in the Valley, and by 1948 production from the Colony Project farms provided over half of the total Alaskan agricultural products sold.
Join us if you can on May 20th, in the conference room in the Palmer Public Library, for a look at this all-but-forgotten chapter of Alaskan history. I’ll have books on hand for those who wish to purchase copies at the meeting, or you can purchase a copy ahead of time at Fireside Books in Palmer or online at my website or from Amazon.