Home Rule City
in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (pall' mur)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Palmer is located in the center of the lush farmlands of the Matanuska Valley, 42 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway.
- The temperatures in January range from -36 to 51 °F and from 37 to 85 °F in July. Annual precipitation averages 16.5 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Two groups of Athabascans -- the Ahtna and Dena'ina -- have lived in this region for centuries. George Palmer is said to have arrived in 1875. He was a trader in Knik and established a trading post on the Matanuska River around 1890. A railway siding was constructed in Palmer in 1916. In 1935, Palmer became the site of one of the most unusual experiments in American history: the Matanuska Valley Colony. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration, one of the many New Deal relief agencies created by President Roosevelt, planned an agricultural colony in Alaska. Two-hundred-three (203) families, mostly from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, were invited to join the colony. They arrived in Palmer in the early summer of 1935. Although the failure rate was high, many of their descendants still live in the Mat-Su Valley today. The City of Palmer was formed in 1951. Construction of the statewide road system and the rapid development of Anchorage have fueled growth in the Mat-Su Valley.
- The valley is renowned for the annual Alaska State Fair, where local farmers produce award-winning vegetables. Popular recreation sites include Hatcher Pass, Crevasse-Moraine Trails, Kepler Lake, Bonnie Lake, Finger Lake, and Long Lake.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Refuse Collection, Airport, Police, 911 Dispatch, Fire/EMS, Library, Community Center, Visitor's Center, Roads, Golf Course, Planning & Zoning, Parks & Recreation
- Palmer lies on the Glenn Highway. Commercial airlines serve the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The Palmer Municipal Airport supports private and chartered services, as well as freight service aircraft and the State Division of Forestry's fire bomber operations. There are several privately-owned airstrips in the vicinity. Float planes may land at nearby Finger Lake or Wolf Lake. The Alaska Railroad connects Palmer to Whittier, Seward, and Anchorage for ocean freight delivery.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District
- Incorporation Type
- Home Rule City