The Matanuska valley was not the picturesque valley that ‘valley’ brings to mind. Matanuska Glacier All to Ourselves! The Matanuska Colony was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to help move the United States out of the Great Depression. Begin your Alaskan adventure with additional guests and a meet & greet. The Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site, managed by Long Rifle Lodge, is located one mile south of the Lodge at Mile 101 on the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway. (Of these 9 did not work beyond the first year.) However, a number of factors limited their commercial success. History of the Matanuska Glacier Classified as a valley glacier, the Matanuska Glacier is a body of solid ice that flows like a river through the valley. A brief report of the valley's climate was prepared by M.B. Some of the information that would have proven to be useful in planning the colony was not even available until after colonization had begun. At the Palmer Museum of History and Art (PMHA), we have over 10,000 photographs in our collection, all digitized as high resolution scans. glacier occupies a 4-mile segment of the Matanuska Valley between Glacier Creek and Caribou Creek. Drive time is two hours each way. The three rivers rising in the alpine icefields carry large amounts of loess on the broad floodplain. Trends northwest to its terminus at a stream which drains into Matanuska River, 46 miles northeast of Palmer, Chugach Mountains. Others included Cherry Lake Farms in Florida, Dyess Colony in Arkansas, and the Pine Mountain Valley Rural Community in Georgia. They abandoned plans to use local timber and brought lumber and carpenters in from Anchorage. History Museums in Sutton Commonly searched for in Sutton Adventurous Budget-friendly Hidden Gems Good for Adrenaline Seekers Good for Couples Good for Big Groups Admission Tickets Matanuska Glacier State Apps Spend the day exploring blue and basal ice, in addition to learning about the history and glaciology of the Matanuska Valley of Southcentral Alaska. Colonists began to arrive to their new home in early May 1935. On this guided day tour you walk onto the unusual terrain of the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska Valley Colony Project", "Alaska's Heritage: Chapter 4-17: Farming, Herding, and Lumbering", "Palmer-based Matanuska Creamery to close Sunday", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Matanuska_Valley_Colony&oldid=992986211, Agricultural cooperatives in the United States, History of Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The farming area is limited, roughly a rectangle, 10–12 wide and extending from the Chugach Mountains on the east to 15–20 miles to the west, The valley borders on the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet and lies only 40 miles northwest of Prince William Sound, however, the Chugach Mountains block out the moist maritime air, except in the southwest over Cook Inlet; as a result the valley receives only a little more precipitation than Fairbanks inland, The soils of the valley consist of coarse water-sorted glacial drift with an overburden of wind-sorted silt and sand; the wind-transported deposits are the thickest in Palmer area, 6 feet; in Wasilla and to the west this layer is very thin; these soils (later called Brown Forest Soils), though relatively well-drained and warm, are geologically young, contain enough potassium (K), but amounts of other critical nutrients vary (Ca, Mg, N, P); also these soils are acidic (become neutral with cultivation), Spring is the sunniest but also the driest period of the year; summer brings cloudy skies and frequent drizzles; days are relatively warm and nights cool; in July average temperatures are lower than means in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; freezing temperatures occur between March and August–September; the rainiest months are August and September, The topography creates many microclimates in the valley and differences in summer and autumn rainfall, solar radiation, and channeling of the local valley winds (northeasterly Matanuskas and southeasterly Kniks): the local winds influenced both temperatures and precipitation patterns; they were linked to erosion, Cool summers, short growing season, and unequal distribution of rainfall are the principal factors limiting crop farming; the climate favours such vegetables as potato, cabbage, lettuce, peas, turnips; potato is the main commercial crop; experiments have shown some grain varieties might be suitable for growing in the valley, The climate is well-suited for cattle and dairy farming, This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 04:47. Don't forget your camera! As a guide for Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, Holbrook lives with other interns near the glacier’s touring site where she provides tours and ensures that visitors stay safe while on the trails. Polio, measles, chicken pox, and pneumonia quickly ran through the community, especially affecting the children who made up half of the population. The terrain can be unlevel with features non-conducive to efficient farming. This is an unparalleled, authentic activity. Many left, many struggled, and many apparently did very little. It was formed 10,000 years ago and has been retreating to its present day location. Matanuska Glacier, Iditarod Race Head Quarters & Eklutna Village Our representatives will meet you at the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau “Log Cabin” at 8:00 AM. Plots of land were given out through a draw, with the majority of the plots still forested. The recruitment also suffered from the enthusiasm of the candidates: they might have presented themselves as being a bit more capable than they actually were. Description: Matanuska Glacier Adventures offers guided glacier tours to the terminus of the glacier. The Matanuska Glacier is the backdrop to numerous attractions and adventures, catered to by a variety of local businesses. History. The social workers in charge of selecting colonists were limited in their options. [18], Dairy farming continued in the Matanuska Valley into the 21st century, largely through the Matanuska Maid Dairy (state-owned until 2006) and then the Matanuska Creamery, the largest of three dairies in the state. The colonists’ life centered around community life.[14]. We were the first ones there on a Monday morning in August, arriving at 9:30, after driving the 1-mile pot-holed road from the Glenn Highway to the gate at the Matanuska Glacier gift shop. Named in 1898 by Mendenhall (1900, p299 and 327), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) derived from the Matanuska River. Through the 1960s, farmers focused on milk and potato production. Matanuska Glacier Helicopters helps you see the Matanuska Valley in all of it’s glory. Farm land became more expensive and taxes increased. The administration chose these three northern states because of their climate and belief that representatives would be well suited to survive harsh elements of subarctic winters. It has receded over time, but despite climate change the glacier hasn’t changed too much in the past few decades. There are many buildings from the original construction of the Matanuska Valley Colony that have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Matanuska Glacier ~ Dall Sheep ~ An Ancient Volcano Just a few of the spectacular sights that surround Alaska's Grand View Cafe & RV Park Come visit our Alaska RV Park and Alaska Campground at the base of Sheep Mountain Reserve and experience the excitement of viewing Dall sheep and wildlife from your full service Alaska RV Park site. MV Matanuska, colloquially known as the Mat, is a mainline Malaspina-class ferry vessel for the Alaska Marine Highway System. Supplies were available for purchase at cost until settlers were self-supporting. This was the only time it was separately returned on census records. 2) is one of the largest glaciers that extend north from the snow and ice fields of the central Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska. History United States Name: Matanuska Namesake: Matanuska Glacier, Chugach Mountains The terminus once reached the north end of Anchorage. Summers, of the U.S. Department of Commerce Weather Bureau in 1925. The Matanuska Glacier feeds into the Matanuska River which is a waterway that drains through the Matanuska Valley for a distance of around 75 miles (121 km). Other remnants of the colony include the lush crops of the valley. The Matanuska, Susitna and Knik river valleys are of glacial origin and are hemmed in by high mountain ranges: the Alaska Range curves in the northwest, Talkeetna Mountains rise to the north and Chugach Mountains to the east. Some of the original structures from the colony, including a church and barn, have been moved to the Alaska State Fairgrounds. The lack of adequate health care was also a major source of unrest. In addition to the colonists not being as good farmers as had been hoped, the land was worse than anticipated. Additional successful crops yielding thoroughly ripened grain included wheat, barley, oats, and winter rye. The result of that work is the Matanuska … There was very little ready for them as far as housing and supplies were concerned. [12], During the latter part of the twentieth century, the Matanuska Valley saw continued success with dairies and farming for local consumption. [3], The Matanuska Colony was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to help move the United States out of the Great Depression. In July 1941 the bureau established a network of 15 stations in collaboration with the Soil Conservation Service and the General Land Office, to record temperature and precipitation. Colonists were forced to stay on the train until transient workers could complete their temporary tent housing. […] The Matanuska Valley Colony was returned on the 1940 U.S. Census as the Alaska Railroad Colony (unincorporated). History of the Matanuska Glacier Formed over 10,000 years ago, Matanuska Glacier is one of the most impressive glaciers in the world. A tent city was erected while the valley was cleared of thick woods. By 1940, over half of the population had left the valley. The hope was that the colony candidates would be good farmers with the necessary skills and hardiness required for self-sufficiency in the harsh Alaskan environment. The gap left by the ones who left was compensated for by recruiting more colonists and consolidating parcels. The following Matanuska Valley Colony farms and groups of buildings are included on the Register as Historic Districts: The following Matanuska Valley Colony buildings are included on the Register as Historic Buildings: National Register of Historic Places listings in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, "Last of adult Matnuska Valley colonists dies at 101", "The Matanuska Colony: The New Deal in Alaska", "There Is A New Day And This Is It! Some of the parcels had to be doubled in size because of the sparsity of arable land within them. These harsh conditions took their toll on the settlers. Scale the 10,000-year-old Matanuska Glacier, exploring its deep crevasses and blue melt-water pools. [3], In 1935, Americans in rural areas of northern states were among the worst sufferers of the Great Depression. Within a month of their arrival, the colonists were extremely unhappy with their conditions. Abstract The Matanuska Glacier (Fig. [7] After all, it was supposed to be a colony with startup assistance from the government. Silage of oats and peas were also very successful. Wind-borne glacial silt continues to change the landscape and build up the soils today. Trends northwest to its terminus at a stream which drains into Matanuska River, 46 miles northeast of Palmer, Chugach Mountains. By 1935, the year when the federal-sponsored Midwestern farmers arrived, climate records had been kept for 15 years. Take the Glenn Highway (Route 1) towards Palmer and Glenallen. Since 2017, we have been working on how to connect this wealth of history to our community. As a result, many farmers sold their land to developers. History The Matanuska Glacier flowing out of the Chugach Mountains. [16] The cooperative also purchased the supplies needed by the colony residents, such as feeds, seeds, fertilizer, farm machinery and general merchandise. The Matanuska River is popular with whitewater fanatics thanks to its stretches of waters ranging from Class II to III (medium and difficult) on the International Scale of River Difficulty. Matanuska Glacier State Recreational Site, Sutton: See 40 reviews, articles, and 35 photos of Matanuska Glacier State Recreational Site, ranked No.2 on Tripadvisor among 5 attractions in Sutton. [12] A survey was made of the Matanuska Valley in June 1934 to ascertain its agricultural viability. It was also in charge of removing colonists who did not continue to meet expectations. The Knik Glacier met with the Matanuska and formed a lobed shape during this time period. [6] Nonetheless, the following January, FERA and Department of the Interior agreed to undertake the project. [9] However, some of these colonists did not abandon Alaska for good. Merely 31% of the original colonists remained in 1948. In 1956 the Weather Bureau meteorologist Robert H. Dale published a technical paper based on 34 years of records from the Matanuska Agricultural Experiment Station (No. Let us know how you think this page on Matanuska Glacier could be improved, what questions were left unanswered. It was one of many rural rehabilitation colonies to be established by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). The colonists quickly got to work clearing their land in order to comply with the government contracts they signed. The Matanuska is the largest glacier accessible by car. Our private transport service is customized with large picture windows, complete narration, TV/DVD and complimentary bottled water. The chosen colonists often were fairly skilled and self-sufficient, but they lacked specialized farming skills and industriousness. The recreation site has 12 campsites on a gravel loop road, water pump, toilets, fire pits, and picnic tables. The marks of glacial advances and retreats are benches and terraces, depressions, moraines. This eliminated the truck-based shipment of milk from Seattle to Fairbanks, improving the profitability of the Matanuska and Tanana River valley dairies.[18]. There was only one doctor and a few Red Cross nurses in the colony. [11] [17] Milk was sold bottled and pasteurized and delivered across the territory. HistoryNamed in 1898 by Mendenhall (1900, p299 and 327), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) derived from the Matanuska River. Though there were many sources of unhappiness for the colonists, they quickly bonded over their shared experience. Sign in to send us feedback. [4] Each family was to receive a 40-acre (16 ha) plot to turn into farmland. As the first winter approached, the ARRC felt the pressure to get permanent housing built. The primary cash crop were potatoes. Matanuska Glacier Hike - Alaska April 2019 - Travel Vlog (4K) - Duration: 17:13. There were no permanent structures in the valley by the time the first settlers arrived. [10], Prices for land ranged from $5 per acre, for uncleared land, to an undetermined amount in some areas where it had been enhanced. If you don’t have a powerful zoom on your camera, or just want to get a great look at the ice, this is the spot. With the media spotlight on the colony, the government was forced into providing medical facilities. In addition, as the population of Anchorage grew to make it the largest city in Alaska, residents began to look towards the Matanuska Valley to build homes. [3] According to historian Orlando W. Miller, a total of 241,332 acres were initially set aside for the colony, with an additional 7,780 acres added later on to provide more continuity between the farms. Most were not up for the challenge. There were many major issues within this administration. For a short period of time in the early 1960s, the military enforced a contract that required no more than 48-hours pass between pasteurization and delivery. If you have concerns about Matanuska Glacier, send those in and we will forward those on to proper care takers.If you have insights you would like to share we welcome those as well. The Matanuska Glacier stretches 27 miles into the mountain, and we don’t want you to miss out on an inch of it. From conception to realization, the project progressed rapidly. At one time, the valley was filled with a big glacier. [15] The Matanuska Valley Farmer’s Cooperative Marketing Association handled much of the produce and marketed as well. The Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation (ARRC) was the governing body of the colony. [21] Although the colony was not a booming success, it did become stable enough to provide dairy and farming. Tour price includes glacier access and guiding. Along the way, enjoy tranquil scenery and learn about the glacier's features and history. Colonists who were in poor health, broke major rules, or were bad farmers could be asked to leave. [5] The mountainous terrain, glacial soils, and climate did not favour large-scale agriculture. In 1947, it was noted that approximately 2,500 tons were grown, with yields of 10–17 tons per acre, with the quality being excellent. In effect, they wanted to keep the farms together in a single area as opposed to being spread out across the vast region reserved by President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6957 of 4 February 1935.[8]. Settlers agreed to a 30-year payment schedule with an annual interest rate of 3%. Alaska Guide Co. is based in Valdez, Alaska and seeks to educate people on Alaska through adventure tours and online informational resources. They were to choose on the basis of need. The ARRC regulated the commissary, what was planted, as well as the activities of the colonists. Rather, they made a living fishing, mining, trading, or doing construction for the military after the war started. The glacier has forced the Matanuska River against the … Matanuska Glacier from parking lot.jpg 3,072 × 1,673; 644 KB Matanuska Glacier From The Air.JPG 3,648 × 2,736; 2.54 MB Matanuska Glacier from the Glenn Highway.jpg 3,072 × 1,423; 491 KB 14), with some additional records of 11 years from 5 stations (including one at Wasilla and one at Eluktna – the Anchorage Power Plant, established May 1941). This gigantic glacier is the largest in the U.S. that can be reached by vehicle Matanuska Glacier, one of Alaska's most accessible glaciers, is a stable 27-mile long river of ice flowing from the Chugach Mountains north almost to the Glenn Highway. Equipment, livestock, farm machinery and other supplies were supplied by the corporation for purchase, lease, or payment for use. You will see and learn about many glacial features such as seracs, moulons and crevasses. Her primary duties include educating In 1935, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration created an experimental farming community known as the Matanuska Valley Colony as part of the New Deal resettlement plan. It was one of many rural rehabilitation colonies to be established by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). With the decline of air and refrigerated freight costs, milk and other dairy products from the Pacific Northwest could be obtained for less than locally produced products. There was a high failure rate due to the short growing seasons, steep freight prices, and distant markets. © 2020 Alaska Guide Company - All Rights Reserved. "SIX WEEKS PASSED NOTHING DONE NO HOUSES WELLS ROADS INADEQUATE MACHINERY TOOLS GOVERNMENT FOOD UNDELIVERED COMMISARY PRICES EXORBITANT EDUCATIONAL FACILITES FOR SEASON DOUBTFUL…". At that time, there were no permanent houses or hospitals. On June 16 a group of colonists sent a telegram directly to President Roosevelt that read: By the end of their second month, 25 of the 200 colonists had returned home. Pictures of, from, or near Matanuska Glacier. In effect, successful farmers were best off staying put, while the less successful farmers were the ones available to colonize the Matanuska valley. æ²³ Eistunnel im Matanuska-Gletscher, Alaska, USA Tunnel de glace à l’intérieur du glacier Matanuska, Alaska, États-Unis An ice tunnel inside Farmers found that a wide variety of vegetables could also be grown and produced an extraordinary quality product. Rules and regulations as well as administrators were constantly changing. To be included on this list, a property must be deemed worthy of preservation. It’s only a small pull-out on the side of the highway, but this is the closest viewpoint of the Matanuska Glacier. In 1916–1917 homesteading farmers settled along the railroad. 1 second ago matanuska glacier cave 5 months ago Best Chinese Reality Show in 2020: Sisters Who Make Waves 6 months ago Japanese actress sleep and bath together with father causes controversy 7 months ago Best Xiaomi Watches of 2020 7 months ago The Best Xiaomi Phones of 2020 The Matanuska Colony produced a range of crops and livestock. Children played in the streets late into the night, dances were held every weekend in the community hall, and church was attended every Sunday. More serious cases had to be sent by train to Anchorage. About On one hand, they aimed to recruit hardy self-sufficient farmers that were true pioneers. Natural History of the Matanuska Glacier During the last glacial maximum, about 22,000 years ago, the Matanuska Glacier reached its peak in size. Enjoy a hands-on adventure while having a … This glacier had left its mark upon the land. Others included Cherry Lake Farms in Florida, Dyess Colony in Arkansas, and the Pine Mountain Valley Rural Community in Georgia. Directions to Glacier View and the Matanuska Glacier From Anchorage or Palmer: Glacier View is located about 2 hours NE of Anchorage. By 1965, only 20 of the first families were still farming the valley. [2] The colony project cost about $5,000,000 and, after five years, over half of the original colonists had left the valley. Hay, crops of oats, alone and with peas or vetch, also did well. Within weeks of the arrival in Alaska, there was a measles epidemic that spread throughout the colony. Matanuska Glacier Overlook For a stunning vista of the glacier—with a vantage that allows you to see up the valley as it curves deeper into the ice-bound coastal range—check out the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area at Mile 101. On the other hand, they were trying to get people off of federal aid. It did not significantly increase the population of the area, but it did develop the Matanuska Valley as the primary agriculturally productive region within Alaska. A few weeks later, 80,000 acres of land was set aside for the project and, by April, the first construction workers and colonists left for the valley. In 1947, the Matanuska Valley had the largest number of dairy cows and of dairy herds in the entire territory of Alaska – 33 dairies were all rated Grade A. Highlights include: - Matanuska Glacier - Charter flight to McCarthy - Kennicott Mine - Iditarod Demonstration - Denali Park - Alaska Railroad Goldstar - Talkeetna Day 1: This is the day we have been waiting and planning for! Matanuska Glacier: Hiking Matanuska Glacier - See 489 traveler reviews, 717 candid photos, and great deals for Alaska, at Tripadvisor. Though only a few settlers died, the event was disheartening and foreshadowed the difficulties of living in a remote area. Currently, the town of Palmer, Alaska, which descended from the Matanuska Valley colonists, is home to many of the children of the settlers. The federal government built houses and barns and paid for the transportation of the families and some of their goods to Alaska. The results revealed themselves early in the colony. It had a population of 789, which made it the then-12th largest community in the state of Alaska. 55 Image(s) • Ruth (DeArmond) Estelle arrived in Palmer in 1936 as the Extension Service "District Home Demonstration Agent" to assist the women and children of the Valley in adjusting to Alaska living and generally to help them improve their lives. Beginning in the northern snow and ice fields of Mount Witherspoon… In order to alleviate some of the pressures upon these areas, the FERA commissioned applicants from the northern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan to colonize a tract of land in the Territory of Alaska. [13] In 1965, there were only 20 families left.[3]. Matanuska Glacier Trekking with MICA Guides - Duration: 1:59. [1] Situated in the Matanuska Valley, about 45 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska, the colony was settled by 203 families from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It left areas covered with coarse gravel and rock outcroppings. Problems with state funding and subsequent continued financial problems forced the closure of the Creamery in 2012, leaving dairy farmers with no place to sell their milk.[22]. Also be grown and produced an extraordinary quality product it did become stable to! From, or payment for use complete narration, TV/DVD and complimentary bottled water its present location. Drains into Matanuska River month, 25 of the Matanuska Glacier from Anchorage or Palmer: Glacier View located! And many apparently did very little day tour you walk onto the unusual terrain of the information that would proven. 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