In 1935 the U.S. Government transported 200 families from the Great Depression-stricken midwest to a valley of unparalleled beauty in Alaska, where they were given the chance to begin new lives as part of a federally-funded social experiment, the Matanuska Colony Project. As part of each family’s farmstead, a magnificent barn was raised, a sturdy square structure 32′ by 32′ and soaring 32′ high. Today these Colony barns are an iconic reminder of what has been called the last great pioneering adventure in America.
“Anyone who travels through the eastern part of Alaska’s dramatically beautiful Matanuska Valley soon finds a Colony barn enhancing the landscape. These striking Valley landmarks are the enduring legacy of an all-but-forgotten chapter in American history, when the U.S. government took a direct hand in the lives of thousands of its citizens, offering Depression-distraught farm families an opportunity to begin again in a far-off land with government financing and support. Central to every Colony farm was the barn, a core structure integral to the operation of these family farms.” ~from the preface
The Matanuska Colony Barns: The Enduring Legacy of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project, by Helen Hegener, photographs by Eric Vercammen, Stewart Amgwert, Albert Marquez, Dave Rose, Joanie Juster, Ron Day and others. Foreword by Barbara Hecker. Introduction by James H. Fox. 140 pages, full color. ISBN 978-0-9843977-4-7. Includes Colonist families listing, maps, bibliography, resources, index.
$29.00 plus $4.00 postage and handling (via USPS Priority; US only, foreign orders please use Amazon). To order via check or money order, mail to Northern Light Media, PO Box 298023, Wasilla, Alaska 99629. To order via credit card or Paypal, CLICK HERE and send payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Matanuska Colony Barns was published in May, 2013 by Northern Light Media, but the work of researching and documenting the barns will continue, and updates and revisions to the book are already being planned, as well as a more generalized book about the history of Alaskan barns. If you have memories, photos, news items or articles, historical data, or other information about any of the Colony barns, or old barns anywhere in Alaska, please feel free to contact the author, Helen Hegener, via email at email@example.com