Map of Barn Locations

This map, which is similar to one which appears in the book, The Matanuska Colony Barns, shows the approximate locations of most of the remaining Colony barns. Adapted from an original map of the Colony tracts, which can be seen as 40 and 80-acre delineations, this map shows the roads as they existed circa 1935, rather than today’s highways and side roads. In the book the locations are notated and cross-referenced with each barn described in the book (a few barns located here do not appear in the book).

BarnsStarredMap

A few notes about the  locations, shown as stars on this map: All locations are approximate. The Larsh-Wilson barn, which later became the Linn-Breeden barn and was moved to the Alaska Museum of Transportation and Industry (MATI) north of Wasilla, is shown in its original location, as the current location is off the map. The Ed Wineck barn, which was moved to the Alaska State Fairgrounds in 1976, is shown in both the original location near Bodenburg Butte and at the fairgrounds. Various other barns are shown where they are now, but their original locations may be miles from there; a surprising number of these huge structures have been moved around the Valley for one reason or another. Sometimes, as with the Bailey and Loyer barns, they’ve only moved a few hundred feet from where they were built in 1936. Most of the barns are visible from public roads, but please remember to be courteous when visiting and always respect private property signs. The map was created by Helen Hegener. ©2013 Northern Light Media, all rights reserved.

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More Barn Photos

Earl Wineck barn, originally on tract no. 174 near Bodenburg Butte, now at the Alaska State Fairgrounds near Palmer. Photo by Eric Vercammen/Northern Light Media

Earl Wineck barn, originally on tract no. 174 near Bodenburg Butte, now at the Alaska State Fairgrounds near Palmer. Photo by Eric Vercammen/Northern Light Media

Arnold Havemeister barn on tract no. 167, on Bogard Road, east of Wasilla. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Arnold Havemeister barn on tract no. 167, on Bogard Road, east of Wasilla. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Lawrence Arndt barn on tract No. 190, Palmer-Wasilla Highway, west of Palmer. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Lawrence Arndt barn on tract No. 190, Palmer-Wasilla Highway, west of Palmer. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Larsh-Wilson barn, originally on tracts no. 31 and 32, now at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, Wasilla. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Larsh-Wilson barn, originally on tracts no. 31 and 32, now at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, Wasilla. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Leonard Bergan barn, tract no. 181, Bodenburg Loop Road, southeast of Palmer. Photo by Albert Marquez/Planet Earth Adventures

Leonard Bergan barn, tract no. 181, Bodenburg Loop Road, southeast of Palmer. Photo by Albert Marquez/Planet Earth Adventures

Lloyd Bell barn, tract no. 195, Doc McKenzie Road and Bodenburg Loop Road, southeast of Palmer. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Lloyd Bell barn, tract no. 195, Doc McKenzie Road and Bodenburg Loop Road, southeast of Palmer. Photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Wilson/Larsh/Linn/Breeden

 

Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, 3800 W. Museum Dr, Wasilla 

At the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, June, 2012 (photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media)

The large double barn at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry (MATI) is known locally as the Breeden barn, but it was actually created from two separate Colony barns by an early Valley homesteader named Frank Linn, whose son Allan grew up to be the State Director of Agriculture from 1975 to 1979.

Frank Linn came to Alaska in 1927 and spent three years working at the Matanuska Experiment Station. In 1928 he purchased 160 prime acres on the southern border of the Station, on a bluff with a commanding view of Pioneer Peak and the Chugach Mountains. In 1935 he sold his land to the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation (ARRC) for $5.09 an acre. Colonist Amedee Wilson won the choice tract in the original drawing, but in 1937 Amedee, his wife Leah, and their four children left Alaska.

Kelley Griffin and Ralph Breeden at Breeden’s farm, circa 1975 (photo courtesy of Kelley Griffin)

Frank and Vera Linn acquired the tract again in 1938, and in 1941 they added the neighboring tract, which had been won by Emil Larsh. The Linn family developed a dairy farm, and in 1943 they moved the Larsh barn adjacent to the Wilson barn at a right angle, creating the immense 85-foot-long by 28-foot-wide structure.

In 1957, Anchorage dairy farmers Don and LaVera Breeden purchased the Linn dairy and in 1958 they moved their operation to the Matanuska Valley. The dairy farm eventually changed into a vegetable farm, then became the Matanuska Riding Stables and Guest Ranch, and in later years the Matanuska Lake RV Park.

Interior of hay loft (photo courtesy of Ron Day)

In 2006 the Breeden family donated the barn to the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, and after all the permits, clearances, and other paperwork was in place, in the early morning hours of August 26, 2007, the giant structure was loaded onto a flatbed truck and moved to its new home. There is a wonderful photo by Robert DeBerry of the barn being moved through Wasilla at the Frontiersman web site.