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The Matanuska Colony was originally part of Roosevelt's New Deal plan
to help Americans recover from the Great Depression, through massive public
works projects. Two hundred and three families from Minnesota, Wisconsin and
Michigan were chosen to be part of this Alaska project because it was felt
that they could better cope with a move to a similar climate; because they
had experience in trades necessary to construct the new settlement and because
they had an extremely high percentage of residents on social assistance programs
at that time. The town of Palmer, Alaska was chosen as a central base for
this project because it was on the Alaska Railroad and was only 50 miles
north of Anchorage.
Below you will see four
bronze plaques (listing the original colonists). These plaques were
erected in the town of Palmer, Alaska (1985) to commemorate the 50th Anniversary
of the Matanuska Colonists
Many of these families could
not stand the hardships of primitive Alaska and they went back home.
Many took advantage of their new beginnings and remained (and thrived)
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