The Palmer Museum of History and Art (PMHA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, contracting with the City of Palmer to provide museum and visitor center services. Nestled inside two acres of downtown showcase garden, we offer visitor information services, curated historic displays, and exhibits that feature the talent of our local artists.
Founded in 2005 in an effort to preserve the City’s collection of historic artifacts, PMHA continues to serve and promote the history of the Greater Palmer Area. Our main building sits on land donated by Palmer resident Bill Hermann, and has served as a visitor center for the town since the 1960s. We are open year round: stop on by to visit!
Interested in our mission, activities and more? Download our annual report below.
Executive Director - Sam Dinges
Sam Dinges is the Executive Director at the Palmer Museum and Visitor Center. He joined the museum as director in 2018, having previously worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage Consortium Library, the Wasilla Museum, and the Anchorage Museum. Sam earned his Bachelor's degree from University of Alaska Southeast, majoring in history and sociology, pursuing research on Alaska’s Cold War era radar sites. He finished his Masters in Library and Information Science through Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Sam grew up in Palmer, and loves learning and sharing the deep, unique story of this place. While not in the office, he enjoys hiking and cross country skiing, playing piano, and spending time with his wife and four dogs.
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Visitor Outreach Coordinator - Matthew Akers
Matthew Akers is the Visitor Outreach Coordinator for the Palmer Museum and Visitor Center. Born and raised in Palmer, he has a broad work background including farm work, retail management, and museum/tour experience with the Wasilla Museum. He joined the museum in 2020, working largely with the Visitor Center and gift shop, and the Palmer Visitor Guide. Matthew enjoys Palmer’s sense of community and the beautiful mountains in the area. In his off-time, he unwinds with his spouse and their friends playing various card/board/video games, watching movies, or trying craft projects.
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Collections Manager - Richard Estelle
“I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and grew up on a small farm on the northern outskirts of Palmer, Alaska. Upon graduating from Palmer High School I attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Horticulture with emphasis on Landscape Architecture. Upon graduation I embarked on a career with the USDA Forest Service as a Forest Landscape Architect & Land Management Planner. Most of my career was spent on the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska. After retirement from the Forest Service I returned to the Palmer area and was employed for several summers with a major tour company, driving motor couches and conducting visitor tours. In 2009 I was employed as a Visitor Information Specialist at the Palmer Visitor Center and at the end of that summer season I was employed as a part-time manager of the associated museum collections. That arrangement continued much the same for several years and has evolved with my continuous employment into a focus mostly as the Collections Manager position on a half-time basis to date in 2021. I continue to live in the Matanuska Valley. I have two grown children of whom I am very proud.”
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Collections Specialist - Dylainie Nathlich
Dylainie Nathlich is the Collections Aide for the Palmer Museum of History and Art. She joined the team and moved to Alaska in September of 2021 after working with Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry over the summer as their Collections Management Intern. Dylainie has also worked for the Marin Museum of Bicycling, The Lyle Tuttle Collection, ArtTable, and many other non-profits in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor's degree in Art History and Studio Art from San Francisco State University in 2019, and is currently finishing her Master's Degree at San Francisco State University in Museum Studies later this year. Her thesis work involves curating a virtual exhibit of the Marin Headlands in California for the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Dylainie is passionate about her community, wherever that may be, and is looking forward to learning and sharing the many stories that Palmer's history holds. In her spare time, you can find Dylainie in her art practice or running / hiking nearby trails.
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Board of Directors
- President: Mari Jo Parks (joined PMHA in 2020)
- Vice President: Amber Lindstrom (joined PMHA in 2021)
- Secretary: Erin Saunders (joined PMHA in 2019)
- Treasurer: Margaret Adsit (joined PMHA in 2019)
- Director: Felicia Desimini (joined PMHA in 2018)
- Director: Pat Chesbro (joined PMHA in 2015)
- Director: Penny McClain (joined PMHA in 2022)
- Director: Dean Phipps (joined PMHA in 2022)
- Director: Becky Oviatt (joined PMHA in 2022)