2014 Alaska State Fair

Northern Light Media was at the Alaska State Fair again in August and September, 2014, once again in the beautiful Wineck Colony Barn!

The Wineck barn, as lovely as ever!

The Wineck barn, as lovely as ever!


This year Northern Light Media had two additional books for sale, sharing the history behind the 1935 Matanuska Colony.

This year Northern Light Media had two additional books for sale, sharing the history behind the 1935 Matanuska Colony.


Interior and exterior details of the barns, and tools such as a hay hook, a pulley for lifting bales and feed sacks into the hayloft, a lantern and more were popular with visitors!

Interior and exterior details of the barns, and tools such as a hay hook, a pulley for lifting bales and feed sacks into the hayloft, a lantern and more.


A closer look at the old hay hook and the wooden pulley.

A closer look at the old hay hook and the wooden pulley.

Historic photos of the Wineck tract with the barn in its original location.

Historic photos of the Wineck tract with the barn in its original location.


A poster for the Colony Barns book, and all three books on display.

A poster for the Colony Barns book, and all three books on display.


A rainbow over the Wineck barn - what a lovely way to end a day at the Fair!

A rainbow over the Wineck barn – what a lovely way to end a day at the Fair!

 

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.

Pre-Publication Special

BarnsCvr1The Matanuska Colony Barns is scheduled for publication May 10, 2013 by Northern Light Media. The retail price of the book will be $29.00 (plus $4.50 postage & handling), but a pre-publication special is available until May 10: $24.00 (plus $4.50 postage & handling) for this beautiful book detailing the history of the Colony barns, magnificent reminders of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project.

From the back cover: “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.”

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.

To order via credit card or Paypal, CLICK HERE and send payment to helenhegener@gmail.com

To order via check or money order, mail to Northern Light Media, PO Box 298023, Wasilla, Alaska 99629

• Pre-publication price until May 10: $24.00 (plus $4.50 postage & handling)

• After May 10: $29.00 (plus $4.50 postage & handling)

All pre-publication book orders will be mailed from the publisher on May 10th.

Alaska State Fair Presentation

Author Helen Hegener speaking about the barns

 

Photos courtesy of Susan Patch

Author Helen Hegener gave two talks and did a slide presentation on the Matanuska Colony Barns at the Wineck Barn at the Alaska State Fair on September 1st, at the invitation of Joanie Juster, whose documentary films Alaska Far Away and Where the River Matanuska Flows have been showing throughout the Fair. The talks highlighted the history of the Matanuska Colony and how the barns were an integral part of the farmstead each of the Colonist families were tasked with building on their parcel of land.

Earl Wineck talking about Colony barns

The films, slideshow, and presentations brought many people into the Wineck Barn to talk about the old Colony barns, including Mr. Earl Wineck, whose father oversaw the building of not only the Wineck Barn in 1936, but many other barns constructed at the same time near their home at Bodenburg Butte. Mr. Wineck, who came to Alaska with his family when he was only eight years old, graciously spoke at length about his father’s contributions, and what it was like growing up in the Matanuska Colony. He explained many details of the barns such as the construction, and the ventilation system, and he explained how the Wineck barn was moved to its present location at the State Fair after his father donated it in 1975. The big structure was sawn in half and trucked to the fairgrounds in four pieces, and once it was in place at its current location, a ceremonial dedication was held and August 28, 1977 was declared “Ed Wineck Day” at the Alaska State Fair.

Wayne Bouwens talks about the barns

Another surprise guest speaker was Mr. Wayne Bouwens, whose family lived on tract number 53, just south of the present-day fairgrounds. A well-known local historian, Mr. Bouwens also shared knowledge gained in growing up amongst the Colony barns, explaining how the barns were utilized and telling many interesting stories about life in the Matanuska Colony.

Having Earl Wineck and Wayne Bouwens join the presentation was a delightful highlight of the afternoon, and between the two talks about the barns the two men spent over an hour poring over and identifying photos of barns from the Colony project and determining which family tracts they’d been built upon in 1936.

Earl Wineck and Wayne Bouwens locating barns

Helen Hegener with Joanie Juster