George Palmer had a several trading posts in the Matansku Valley
by 1880. Around 1900 he had a store known as, "Palmer's Upper
House," a boat-accessible trading post that was located on
the east side of the Matanuska River, just upriver from today's
Matanuska River Bridge on the Old Glenn Highway. George Palmer's
store catered to Dena'ina Athabascans who traded with the Ahtna
from Copper River. He also had a cabin where the city of Palmer
The US Army sent an expidition to the Palmer area in 1997 to experment
with farming in the valley. Gold had been discovered in the Talkeetna
Mountains which in 1898 brought a serg of prospectors and miners
to the valley. They became the first settelers. Commerical deposits
of coal had been discovered as early as 1894. The coal fields were
an imprortant factor in determining the route of the government
railroad in 1915.
From the depression of the 1930s came the Matanuska Colony project
that brought some 200
families to farm the Palmer area. For details of the colony
and the history of Palmer see the book: "We shall be Remembered"
by Evangeline Attwood.