Palmer, Alaska

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Palmer, Alaska
City
Palmer depot with a narrow gauge locomotive.
Palmer depot with a narrow gauge locomotive.
Motto(s): 
"Alaska at Its Best"
Location of Palmer, Alaska
Location of Palmer, Alaska
Coordinates: 61°36′7″N 149°7′2″W / 61.60194°N 149.11722°W / 61.60194; -149.11722Coordinates: 61°36′7″N 149°7′2″W / 61.60194°N 149.11722°W / 61.60194; -149.11722
CountryUnited States
StateAlaska
BoroughMatanuska-Susitna
Area
 • Total3.8 sq mi (9.7 km2)
 • Land3.8 sq mi (9.7 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation
233 ft (71 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total5,937
 • Density1,562.3/sq mi (612.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99645
Area code907
FIPS code02-58660
GNIS feature ID1407737
WebsiteCity of Palmer, Alaska

Palmer is a city in Alaska, located in the Matanuska Valley, It is surrounded by the Talkeetna and Chugach mountains. Palmer is most noted in Alaska as the place of the yearly Alaska State Fair. Twelve miles north of Palmer is Hatcher pass. The pass is a state park and is home of the Independence Mine. Also in the past Palmer served as a gateway to the Alaska interior for fur traders, trappers, gold miners and serves as place where people can live a life on the frontier.

History[change | change source]

The first people that lived in the Matanuska Valley were the Dena’ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. [1] The town was founded by an Alaska pioneer named George W. Palmer in 1893. He started to build a trading post to trade and supply for the people living in the Matanuska Valley with foods, goods, mail, fur, etc. In 1913 Palmer served as a place for miners to lead an agricultural lifestyle after they returned from the Nelchina gold stampede. Which made them the first people who have settled there.

In 1935 the Federal Emergency Relief Administration established the Matanuska Colony which was under President Franklin Roosevelt. From the drought-starved Midwest, 203 families traveled by train and ship to reach the fledgling colony. Their housing was in a tent city for that first Alaskan summer. From there each family drew out lots of individual 40-acre tracts and a farming adventure began.

Agriculture[change | change source]

What Palmer is known for is its agricultural lifestyle. [2] Also growing a lot of vegetables especially growing pumpkins, green cabbages, beets, and turnips. Also, there are livestock farms ranging from the common animals one finds on many farms to the more unique ones like elk, yak, bison, and reindeer. [3] Interesting fact about The Matanuska Valley it's home to the only Grade A cow dairy as well as producing much of the state’s potatoes and vegetables, oats, hay, greenhouse plants, vegetables, and sod. You can find many of the larger vegetable, cut flower, and hay farms south of Palmer as well as at the Butte which is southeast of Palmer. Livestock farms east of Palmer on Lazy Mountain, the dairy west of Palmer off Bogard Road, an edible trail known as Grow Palmer in downtown Palmer on the rail trail north of the Depot, and family/community gardens all over the Matanuska Valley.

References[change | change source]

http://www.palmerhistoricalsociety.org/ [1]

https://www.palmerak.org/discover-palmer/page/history-palmer [2]

https://visitpalmer.com/history/farming-in-alaska/ [3]