Alaska Culture and History

If you love Alaska history, you'll want to delve into the many small town museums throughout the Valley. Each community in the Valley has a unique story to tell-from Native settlements to turn-of-the-century gold seekers to Colony farm projects. The Mat-Su museums are truly one of a kind: you can tour an abandoned gold mining town at Independence Mine State Park in Hatcher Pass. Or savor a "blast from the past" aboard a live steam train at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry. Re-live history at Iditarod Trail Headquarters by exploring Valley trails on a sled built for summer travel pulled by a dog team!

Alpine Historical Site, Sutton
Outdoor display of the coal mining equipment used to mine the area's rich coal deposits, as well as cultural exhibits highlighting the Athabascan heritage of the Chickaloon area.

Colony House Museum, Palmer
Built in 1935, this refurbished home displays artifacts and information about the colonists from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin who settled the Palmer area. Some of the tour guides are descendants of the first colonists and bring personal experience into the stories they tell.

Wasilla Museum (formerly Dorothy Page Museum)
Named after the mother of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, this museum features the area's first schoolhouse and sauna plus lots of historical information.

Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry, Wasilla
Over 20 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits and displays tell the story of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth.

Knik Museum & Townsite, Wasilla
During the town's heyday in 1915, over 500 residents lived in the town of Knik. Come see the remnants of the town and learn about those who once occupied the area.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters, Wasilla
Open year-round, the headquarters offers displays and information about Alaska's official state sport. During the summer months, take a short dog sled ride around the perimeter led by and Iditarod musher.

Museum of Northern Adventure, Talkeetna
Alaska's history is presented in 24 realistic dioramas, featuring life-sized figures and sounds. The museum, housed in a historic railroad building, has exhibits on homesteading, prospecting, wildlife and famous characters.

Talkeetna Historic District, Talkeetna
Visit fifteen historical sites all within walking distance of downtown Talkeetna. Ask for a map at the Talkeetna Historical Museum - make sure to view the scale model of Mt. McKinley and learn about how early day and modern day climbers prepare for their perilous journey.