The Matanuska Colony Barns

Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media


It’s been my good fortune to live in the Matanuska Valley off and on for close to 40 years, and the Matanuska Colony barns have always been a part of my life in Alaska. Driving the roads around Palmer and Wasilla one sees the old structures often, glimpsed down a tree-lined dirt lane or silhouetted against a mountain backdrop, and they rarely fail to bring a smile. Like trusted and comforting old friends, the barns are always there.

I’ve been living with, admiring, and casually photographing these picturesque barns for four decades, and in that time I’ve asked many questions about them, which have mostly gone unanswered. This blog – or more accurately, the forthcoming book it’s based on – is my attempt to find answers to some of the questions.


One comment on “The Matanuska Colony Barns

  1. Dave Buirge says:

    No article or book would be complete without mentioning Mr. Doug Olson of Palmer and the work he has done to save and restore several original colony barns. Your last photo is of one of the barns he owns and has restored located at the south end of Trunk Road across the Parks Highway.

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