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george w. palmer built a trading post along the matanuska river near modern-day palmer in the early 1890s. in the late 19th century, coal was discovered in mines north of palmer and the u.s. took notice. this began the construction of the alaska railroad in 1904. this opened up marketing for agriculture for farmers in the matanuska valley. may 1935 saw the development of homesteads and farmlands.
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