The Valley Association for Local History and Culture, VALHC, is an informal organization comprised of museums and cultural institutions located in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. The organization was established to serve as a supportive network to help local institutions collaborate on programs/events, share resources and promote each other. The organization strives to increase support and awareness of the history, art and culture of the communities within the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.
ALPINE HISTORICAL PARK
Mile 61.6 Glenn Highway Sutton, Alaska99674
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Summer Season) Memorial Day (end of May) – Labor Day (beginning of September) Park is open every day, all day
Tours are available by appointment
The Alpine Historical Park is an open air historical park and museum located in the midst of the small community of Sutton off of the Glenn Highway in the Matanuska Valley. The Park provides community members, as well as visitors from far and near, a look back in time to understand the heritage and cultures of the early settlers of the Sutton and Chickaloon area. Exhibits include: the Sutton Post Office, the Athabascan Culture and Winter lodge, the Old Timers Hall of Fame, History of the Coal Mining Industry and Equipment, and the Construction of the Glenn Highway.
PALMER MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ART
723 S. Valley Way Palmer, Alaska99645
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Summer Season) May 1 – September 30 Sunday through Saturday, 9:00AM – 6:00PM
(Winter Season) October 1 – April 30 Wednesday through Friday, 10:00AM – 5:00PM Every Second Saturday of the month, 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Drawing upon the museum's permanent collections, temporary and traveling exhibits, the organization strives to cultivate an appreciation for the preservation of local history and the support for the arts in the Palmer community through public programming, events and workshops. The museum’s indoor exhibits include displays depicting early exploration and settlement within the region, information about the New Deal Palmer Colony Project during the Great Depression, and other facets of contemporary Palmer culture. Outdoors, the museum has an array of historic farm equipment displays and an agricultural showcase garden that exhibits a wide display of native and non-native flowers and vegetables. There is also an outdoor art installation describing the growing popularity of Alaska giant vegetables.
COLONY HOUSE MUSEUM
316 E. Elmwood Avenue Palmer, Alaska99645
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Summer Season) Late May – Early September Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00AM – 4:00PM
(Winter Season) Late September – Early May By appointment only
ADMISSION: Ages 13 and older: $2.00
Ages 12 and younger: $1.00
The Matanuska Colony, the largest New Deal Resettlement project, involved moving 204 families from the Midwest to the Matanuska Valley to establish a farming community. An event of national interest in 1935, it continues to fascinate the public, and was subject of PBS film documentary, “Alaska Far Away.”
The Colony House Museum and outbuildings, operated by volunteers of the Palmer Historical Society (amongst them, members of the early settlement project) display rural life in the Matanuska Valley during the heyday of the Colony, 1935-1945. While originally the home of Oscar and Irene Beylund on tract 94, this house, one of five styles available, reflects an average colonist family’s home. Inside, the home is furnished with items that have been generously donated by numerous Colony families over the years.
DOROTHY G. PAGE MUSEUM
323 Main Street Wasilla, Alaska99654
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Open year-round)
Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM
ADMISSION: Adults (13-59): $3.00
Seniors (60+): $2.50
Military (with ID): $2.00
Children (12 and under): FREE
Fridays are always free.
The Dorothy G. Page Museum is an historical and art museum that interprets and exhibits the cultural and historical heritage of Wasilla, Knik and Willow Creek areas. The museum includes a temporary rotating art gallery and two historical galleries that house the most comprehensive assemblage of Wasilla artifacts in the region. In addition, the museum also operates the Wasilla Historical Park adjacent to the museum which includes eight preserved structures important to the area’s past. They are located on lots laid out in the original 1917 historic town site and reflect the architectural and social histories of early Wasilla pioneers.
museum of alaska transportation and industry
3800 W. Museum Drive Wasilla, Alaska 99654
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Summer Season) May – September
Sunday through Saturday, 10:00AM – 5:00PM
(Winter Season) October – April By appointment only
ADMISSION: Adults (18 +): $8.00
Children (3-17): $5.00
Families (parents with minor children): $18.00
Seniors/Retired Military: $5.00
Active Military and Museum Members: Free
The Alaska of today was formed in a series of booms and busts. A new resource was found, the technology to exploit it became available, and the resource was exhausted. Gold and other resource exploration resulted in the development and use of railroads, roads, river steamboats, and (later) aircraft to serve the transportation needs. As the inevitable bust followed the boom, the technology of the day was left behind on the tundra and in the forests to rust and rot because it was too expensive and too impractical to remove.
MATI was established to give a home to the transportation and industrial remnants and to tell the stories of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth.
TALKEETNA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM
Talkeetna Spur Road Talkeetna, Alaska99676
HOURS OF OPERATION: (Summer Season) mid May – mid September
Sunday through Saturday, 10:00AM – 6:00PM
(Winter Season) mid September – mid May Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00AM – 4:00PM
ADMISSION: Ages 8 and older: $3.00 Ages 7 and younger: Free
Tours available by reservation $10 per person or $8 per person (group size 10 or higher)
Located in the heart of downtown Talkeetna, the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum is dedicated to preserving this uniqueness by preserving Talkeetna’s past in its historical buildings and sites. Inside the museum, many artifacts on display await you. Exhibits introduce you to Talkeetna’s very personal history–native peoples, aviators, gold seekers, trappers–many ordinary people made a name for themselves and are now an important part of Talkeetna’s past. The museum’s other buildings–the old railroad buildings, circa 1920s, that were relocated to its current site–offer even more historic photos and exhibition pieces from the old days. One of the Museum buildings holds the Mountain Exhibit, showing Denali (Mt. McKinley) and its surrounding peaks of the Alaska Range as a room-size model. The model is owned by the National Park Service and the museum houses it. Here you can learn about the history of mountaineering. During the summer, there are also lectures held there regularly in the building.