Events in Palmer! July 23rd, 2009

Categories: Events

And people say Palmer isn’t busy… this Friday holds three community wide events!

1. Open house at Alaska Job Corp! This starts at 11AM, at the Job Corp headquarters, near Palmer Junior Middle School. Click here for a map.

2. Fresh Veggies at Friday Fling! The Dinkels (won many prizes for giant vegetables and the Alaska State Fair, included the giant cabbage weigh-off grand prize) have a booth, as well as the Kenley family and a couple others. Check them out! Support local farmers and enjoy local produce!

3. Palmer Pride Picnic, 4 PM at the Palmer Train Depot. Bring your family, get to know new people and visit with old friends!

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Banks in Palmer Alaska July 17th, 2009

Categories: Businesses

No need to drive all the way to Wasilla for your personal banking, Palmer has 5 different banks of its own, right here in downtown!

A Wells Fargo Branch, on S Bailey St

First National Bank, on Evergreen Ave

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, on S Bailey St

Key Bank in Key Bank Plaza

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union on the Palmer-Wasilla Hwy

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The Stamp Cache: Creativity in Palmer July 10th, 2009

Categories: Businesses

I asked Linda Pendergrass, a resident of Alaska for the last 40 years and owner of the Stamp Cache, why people should come to the Stamp Cache instead of Walmart or Joann’s Fabrics. “Personal care, for one thing,” she said. “A lot of people go to Walmart or other chain stores, buy something and don’t really know how to use it properly.” Here, if you have a question, she has an answer. She’ll show you not only how to use the item correctly, but you can also view countless examples of cards and papers with the effect displayed.

The Stamp Cache offers something you can find nowhere else in the state of Alaska. Great Impressions puts out a different Stamp of the Month item each month and you can find it right here!. Linda offers classes in card-making using that specific stamp, while teaching you different techniques. They even have a variety of other stamps that
match that specific Stamp of the Month theme. July’s theme is Fairy Tales.

Different classes are offered every month for
mini-scrapbooks and Stamps by Judith projects. To view to the entire list of classes and times, visit the Stamp Cache’s website,

There’s a large collection of Alaskan-themed stamps, including a stamp declaring “Hello from Palmer!”. Bears, wolves, moose and more are found on this display, waiting for you to stamp them on a card for out of state family and friends.
Not only does the Stamp Cache carry stamps, you also can find a huge variety of printed, patterned and colored papers, markers, chalk and alcohol inks, punches and

If Anchorageites drive all the way out, it must be great! Linda told me that a large percentage of her customers actually come from Anchorage, because the Stamp Cache is so unique and has a different, better variety than the few stores there. But why not help local businesses and show a fellow Palmeranian our support?

Don’t feel like you have a creative side? Not ‘artsy fartsy’? No problem! Take one of the classes and you may discover a different side of yourself! If you need some ideas, ask Linda, she’s full of creativity and knowledge! August’s theme is Wildflowers…

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Vagabond Blues June 30th, 2009

Categories: Businesses, Restaurants and Cafes

Vagabond Blues is one of my favorite places in downtown Palmer. It’s a great cafe with fresh food and delicious drinks, located on S Alaska St, in the Koslosky building. I go there and work on my computer all the time; they offer wifi through MTA.

Not only is Vagabond Blues a great coffeehouse, it’s also a well-known musical venue. With concerts ranging in genre from bluegrass to metal, V-Blues does its best to keep the music as diverse as our community. The performances are reasonably priced, some are even free. Many local artists are known to come and play as well as groups from out of state.

Soups, salads, breads, all made here in Alaska, if not in V-Blues’ own kitchen, are just part of the menu. They use as much local produce as possible, and offer vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options as well as “normal” food. If I want something more than a cookie, I’ll usually buy a cup of soup and a hunk of fresh bread for around $6. The soup is always hearty, flavorful and filling and the bread, delectable.

All ages come to Vagabonds to chill. Some order full meals, others (like me) get something simple like an americano and a jumbo chocolate chip cookie, made fresh each morning right there in the kitchen. You can find groups of students from the local schools in the large booths, laughing and talking about the day at school. Elderly couples and families hold meetings and bible studies earlier in the mornings. The atmosphere is very relaxed; with the radio on all the time (but turned down low), smiling baristas and giggling babies of patrons that make you feel at home.

Drop in for a tasty morsel, stay an hour, chat with friends, stay late! It’s open until 8 Mon-Sat and 6 on Sundays. Vagabond Blues is part of what makes Palmer, Palmer. It’s a comfy, slow-paced, community gathering place. Come be a part of it!

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Colony House Museum June 27th, 2009

Categories: History

The Colony House Museum is run by the Palmer Historical Society. It’s located on Elmwood Ave, across from the big, white borough building. The home belonged to Irene and Oscar Beylund, two original colonists of the Matanuska colony.  It was turned over to the Palmer Historical Society in 1998 to maintain and operate it. Children of the original colonists give tours Tuesday through Saturday, from 10-4.

The price for a tour is $2 for adults, $1 for children. I paid the $2 yesterday and entered for the first time. Apparently, if you’ve gone through elementary school here in Palmer, you’ve visited. But I was homeschooled till highschool, so this was my first.

Upon entering, one of the proprietors greeted me and showed me maps of the divided homesteads, each of 40 acres. She pointed to one, #189 and told me that was her family’s homestead, out near the butte. It was larger than 40 acres because some of it was unuseable. The ARRC (Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp) wanted each family to have 40 acres of workable land for agriculture. She also showed me a poster-size photo of Palmer taken in 1938. It was a lot more spread out then!

The living room is decorated with donated furniture from the 30’s and 40’s era and some original to the home. A large, upright piano takes up one wall. Each colonist family was allowed to bring 2,000 lbs of goods and personal items to Alaska with them. So, the owners of the piano lifted up the top lid and filled it full of clothes; they didn’t have any suitcases.

The kitchen is cheery with yellow cabinetry and a huge stove/oven sits opposite. The back entry has a milk separator in one corner; for separating the cream from the milk after milking the cows morning and evening. There are 3 bedrooms and a washroom. Old books, games and photos are found throughout the home, each donated by the families of original colonists.

I really appreciated the opportunity to look back into what life may have been like in my own town +70 years ago. The proprietor was full of humorous and interesting stories of life back then. She was just three when her family moved here. It was really neat to hear first-person what that life was like, and how people lived.

I definitely encourage you to go and visit the Colony House Museum. It’s worth far more than just $2 dollars; it’s our history, our heritage.

Photo 1 is a plaque recognizing Palmer’s outstanding seniors, class of ’38. Photo 2 is a nurse’s uniform worn by one of the nurses at the first clinic in Palmer. Photo 3 is of the Colony House’s kitchen. Photo 4 is of the child’s room. All photos are expandable if clicked on.

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