Category Archives: Matanuska Colony

W. T. Geisman, Photographer

As the official photographer for the Matanuska Colony Project, Geisman documented every aspect of the venture, from the kitchen help aboard the North Star to the colonists’ children playing in the tent city, from officials posing stiffly for portraits to farmers working together to build homes before winter. His photographs portray proud farm wives showing their neat tent kitchens, and a small girl sitting in an Alaskan berry patch grinning at the cameraman. Continue reading

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Kindle Edition: “A Mighty Nice Place”

The story of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project, which settled 200 families near Palmer, Alaska. Continue reading

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Parks-Archer Colony Barn

The magnificent Parks-Archer barn which sat on the south side of Bodenburg Butte is gone now, another loss to Matanuska Valley history, but it was included in my 2013 book on the Matanuska Colony barns (see below for ordering). Comprised … Continue reading

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“A Mighty Nice Place”

“The valley looks great. It looks fine, fine. You got a mighty nice place here.”     ~American humorist and commentator Will Rogers, Palmer, Alaska, August, 1935 The newest book from Northern Light Media combines the history of the Matanuska Valley with … Continue reading

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The Parks-Archer Colony Barn

In 1935 the U.S. Government transported 200 families from the Great Depression-stricken midwest to a valley of unparalleled beauty in Alaska, where they were given the chance to begin new lives as part of a federally-funded social experiment, the Matanuska … Continue reading

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Matanuska Valley Books

The colorful history and the captivating beauty of today’s Matanuska Valley are captured in these four books from Northern Light Media, including three which address the history of the 1935 Matanuska Colony. Click on any book cover for more information … Continue reading

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John August Springer

John August Springer In October of 1914, an Alaskan pioneer of Swedish descent named John August Springer filed for homestead rights to 320 acres of benchland located on the north bank of a sweeping bend in the Matanuska River, with … Continue reading

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