In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal gave 202 destitute Midwestern farm families a fresh start in Alaska, then just a U.S. territory. ALASKA FAR AWAY tells the absorbing story of the unusual and controversial government experiment known as The Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935 and of the unsuspecting families thrust into the national spotlight. Narrated by actor Peter Coyote and featuring archival footage and interviews with many surviving colonists, ALASKA FAR AWAY recreates the hardships, dangers and excitement of leaving everything behind to settle a new land.

Watch the Film »

The Matanuska Colonists

Home States of the Matanuska Colonists (with counties of origin highlighted)

Michigan Minnesota Wisconsin

A list of all the colonists, and where they came from »

More Information

Matanuska Colony Overview
This article provides an overview of the Matanuska Colony, links to further reading, and also includes a list of all of the colony families.

Palmer Historical Society
Includes links to other Alaska historical societies, as well as links for visitor information for the city of Palmer and the Matanuska Valley.

Colony House Museum
The Colony House Museum is an original Matanuska Colony home run as a museum by the Palmer Historical Society. Most docents are members of colony families and share personal insights into the Colony.

The Living New Deal

Palmer Museum and Visitor Center

Fireside Books
An excellent bookstore in Palmer that carries books about Alaska and the history of the Matanuska Valley.  Good coffee, too.

Alaska State Fair
The Alaska State Fair takes place each year in Palmer in late August. Alaska Far Away usually shows daily in the historic Wineck Barn at the Fair. Plan your visit.

Travel Information

Planning to visit Alaska?
Be sure to include the beautiful Matanuska Valley in your travel plans.
For visitor information go to Mat-Su Valley Alaska.
Request a visitors guide.