Single Family Homes, Houses, Condos, Townhomes, Townhouses, Investment Properties, Land and Real Estate in Palmer, Alaska
Palmer began in 1916 as a railway station on the Matanuska branch of the Alaska Railroad largely to serve coal mines in the Jonesville/Sutton area northeast of Palmer. It was named for station master Stanley Duncan Palmer. In 1935, during the Great Depression, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal projects, established the Matanuska Colony. From Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, 203 families traveled by train and ship to reach the fledgling colony, arriving in the summer of 1935. Upon their arrival they were housed in a tent city during their first Alaskan summer. Each family drew lots for 40-acre (160,000 m2) tracts and their farming adventure began in earnest. The failure rate was high, but many of their descendants still live in the area and there are still many operating farms in the Palmer area, including Vanderwheele and Wolverine farms. In 1971, The National Outdoor Leadership School started operating wilderness education courses in the nearby Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges from a local historic farmhouse, now listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
In addition to an agrarian heritage, the colony families brought with them Midwest America’s small-town values, institutional structures, and a well-planned city center reminiscent of their old hometowns in Minnesota. Many of the structures built are now in a nationally recognized historic district. Construction of the statewide road system and the rapid development of Anchorage has fueled growth around Palmer. Many Palmer residents commute 45 minutes to work in Anchorage.
Palmer is 68 km (42 miles) northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It lies on the north shore of the Matanuska River, not far above tidewater, in a wide valley between the Talkeetna Mountains to the north and the Chugach Mountains to the south and east. Pioneer Peak rises over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above the town, just a few miles south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.7 km²), all of it land. Palmer and Wasilla are the two major old-town cores of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Population of the area has grown dramatically in the past decade; Borough officials estimate the local population at 8,000.
Community information provided by Wikipedia.