We’re celebrating our seventh consecutive year of sharing Matanuska Colony history in the historic Wineck Barn at the Alaska State Fair. Each day throughout the Fair we show our films Alaska Far Away and Where the River Matanuska Flows, as well as vintage newsreels from the early days of the Colony in the 1930s. Since 2014, the Palmer Historical Society has shared the Wineck Barn with us, presenting wonderful displays of historical items from their vast collection of Colony memorabilia. (This year’s display honors the Colony’s military veterans – it’s a must-see.)
The historic Wineck Barn, right inside the Red Gate at the Alaska State Fair.
Audiences enjoying a screening of “Alaska Far Away”
Come see the World War II items donated by Colony veterans.
One of the main draws for our visitors, particularly the children, is the models of Colony buildings. These models were built by Colony kids from the Loyer family as part of a float in the Colony’s 75th Anniversary parade in 2010. The display includes the Loyer’s original colony house and barn (fully decorated inside), a barnyard, canvas tents like the ones the colonists lived in when they arrived in 1935, the Colony’s Trading Post, and even the Palmer water tower.
Many visitors enjoy reading the history of the Colony on our informational display, and browsing through the books and reference materials we have on display.
But the best part of all is the fact that every single day during the Fair, history walks in the door of the Wineck Barn. People come in to learn about the local history, but also to share their own stories. We love meeting our visitors and swapping stories, and every day in the Barn is a new adventure.
Come join us!
(Below: On August 28th we celebrated Earl Wineck’s 90th birthday in the Wineck Barn. Earl’s dad, Ed Wineck, built the barn in 1936. Several Colony families dropped by to wish him a happy birthday, and Earl got up and shared some of his stories about coming to Alaska, and growing up in the barn. It was a very special day.)