Learn about Colonial History

From the Dust Bowl to the Last Frontier, more than 200 families relocated to Palmer as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1935. Despite the harsher climate coupled with short growing seasons, the settlers established the Matanuska Colony in 1935. Today, The Palmer Museum pays tribute to their grit and determination by displaying historic artifacts and photos. Guided walking tours travel through Palmer’s original colony territory, rustic downtown and to the Colony House Museum, a 1930s farmhouse decorated with original furnishings.

Other stops along the tour include a visit to the Church of 1,000 Trees and Palmer Alehouse. Originally built as a community center, the church was constructed largely by women and students who weren’t needed on the farms. The Palmer Alehouse, which served as a trading post and the Matanuska Milk Dairy Building during its early years, now combines its rustic charm with an expansive menu featuring local, craft beers, classic cocktails and bites.

See More Attractions

Explore Hatcher Pass – Hike through scenic trails and abandoned Alaska Gold Rush mines.


Trek on a glacier – Come face to face with 400-foot ice walls and calving icebergs at Knik Glacier.


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