Housed in a one-room log cabin, this museum and visitor center packs a lot into its small space. Learn about Ahtna Athabascan natives, explore mining and trapping history, and check out the history of the fascinating Colony project—a New Deal program that brought 204 farm families to Alaska. You can also pick up tour books and maps, or ask the knowledgeable staff about area attractions.
The museum’s permanent collection spans the development of this city, so you’ll learn about the original hunter-gatherers, as well as farmers, miners, trappers, and natives. The Chickaloon tribe has loaned the museum clothing, artifacts, tools, and photos, including a ceremonial dress with beads.
Then learn about mining at Independence Gold Mine, a hard rock mine on Hatcher Pass. Check out old headlamps used by the miners, plus clothing and gear worn in the dark, cold winters up north.
Palmer is an agrarian area, and the museum has excellent displays on the Palmer Colony and the local dairy, the Matanuska Maid. Read about the colonists’ first winter in tents, check out original butter churners and farm equipment, then look at the old “Matanuska Maid” dairy paraphernalia.
Tours can be scheduled by appointment and are free. And make sure you visit the garden and arboretum out back, where the agrarian tradition lives on.
9-6 everyday, May 1-Sept 30
No admission fee, donations accepted.