Alaska Gold Rush History & Genealogy

The first farm was homesteaded in 1917 by John Bodenburg. He moved to the farm with his herd of nineteen cows, fording the river just below the present-day George Palmer bridge. When the old wooden bridge that connected Palmer with Butte, spanning the Matanuska River, was torn out and a cable put across, he lost interest in farming, as there was no practical access to the Palmer railroad. After he died in 1934, the 160-acre place was purchased by Victor Falk, Sr. .

In 1935, as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program, 25 tracts in the Butte were settled by the Matanuska Colonists around "Camp 10" along Bodenburg Loop Road, and two tracts north of the Old Glenn Highway near Mile 15. More land was settled by veterans following World War II. Some of these lands are now residential subdivisions, but many of the colonists' tracts are still being farmed for vegetables, potatoes, and hay. The reindeer farm is located on colony land. Most vegetables produced in the Valley for Alaskans are grown on former colony farms.

Several sawmills were active between 1940 and 1970. During the 1940s, the spruce trees in the Jim Creek area were logged and used for mine shaft support at he gold mines in the Hatcher Pass area. Most of the trails in the area originated from logging activities. (Source)



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