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Valley frontiersman. [volume] (Palmer, Alaska) 1947-1952, September 20, 1947, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020665/1947-09-20/ed-1/seq-1/

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Yol. I. No. 2
Palmer. Alaska. September 20. 1917
Ten tents
Construction Resumed On Matanuska Hotel
C of C Hears
Soil Expert
Explain Work
* W. T. White, soil conservation
specialist for states of the Pa
cific Northwest, was guest of
honor at Wednesday's Chamber
of Commerce meeting in the
basement of St. John s Lutheran
church Mr. White outlined the
purpose and goals of his work
before an interested audience of
25 Chamber members and
The soil conservation expert,
who was formerly connected
with experiment station work in
Alaska, and at one time worked
with M. D. Snodgrass of the Val
ley. introduced his subject by
sketching briefly the course of
agricultural trends in the United
He said that until recently it
had been the accepted farming
practice to till soil in a given
area for a period of several gen
erations, and then to move on to
new and undeveloped areas
when the soil “wore out.”
However Mr. White denied
that land ever wears out, as is
generally believed. “Land will
wash away, blow away, and
leach away, but it doesn’t wear
out,” he declared. “As a matter
of fact, if we use our lands cor
rectly, they not only don’t wear
out, they sometimes get better,”
he asserted.
The technician then explained
that his work in soil conserva
tion had been sponsored by an
interested government, vitally
alert to the necessity of making
certain that sources of the na
tion’s food supply do not dimin
He outlined four steps by
which his department proceeds.
First, an attempt is made to
reach the farmer by individual
contact. Second, a study and in
ventory of the soils of his farm
'* is completed, and third, a method
of procedure is then set up for
best conservation methods in
each soil classification.
(Co-nlinued on page 8)
N’West Livestock
Show Dates Set
♦ PORTLAND, Ore. (Special)—
Special reserved seats for Alas
kans who wish to attend the
horse show and rodeo of the
Pacific International livestock
exposition scheduled for Octo
ber 3-11, are now available from
801 Wilcox Building, Portland,
it was announced by Theodore
« B. Wilcox, president.
“The date for advance sales
was moved ahead a month to
avoid a condition that existed
last year when thousands of last
minute fans were unable to get
seats,” Wilcox stated.
Prices are: Box seats $3.60;
reserved seats $3 and $2.40.
A specially chartered DC-4
>.-/ill leave Anchorage Oct. 10
on a round-trip flight to Seat
tle. All Valley residents inter
ested in attending the livestock
exposition can leave aboard this
plane Oct. 10, spend Oct. 11 in
Portland and return home Oct.
14. Interested persons can get
more details at the Frontiersman
office. Round-trip fare for the
flight is $110 plus tax.
Potato Picking Time In Malanuska
(Photo by Palmer Photographic Center)
Children of the El-Nathan home, a branch of the Valdez institution which has been recently
located in the Valley, harvest their first Matanuska crop, a field of potatoes on the Max Sher
rod tarm. The children took entire charge of the field from sowing to harvest. Yield from
the small field was large enough to enable the Valley home to i«nd a truck-load of pptatoes to
the Valdez institution this week. The El-Nathan home owns 1-acts of undeveloped and un
cleared land in otner areas of the Valley, and is looking tow< -d the future when much of the
food served on the home's dining tables will be the product of gardens and fields tended by
the children themselves. In the second picture. Max Sherrod, Valley farmer, and Miss Helen
Mae Slen.vall are shown grading some of the outsize potatoes grown on the Sherrod farm this
year. The potatoes in the picture are "Arctic Wenders," a variety developed by Mr. Sherrod.
Rain Halts Valley Spud Harvest
Student Pickers—
Student potato-pickers all
are due back in their class
rooms next Monday morning,
unless excused for further har
dest chores, superintendent
Carl Snelling reminded pupils
of the Palmer school today.
Students who must take
more time to work in the fall
harvest, must apply for per
mission for the extended leave
at the school office.
Playfield Is
* VFW Sponsors Plan,
Promises Quick Action
WASILLA — Determined that
the children of this community
would go no longer without a
space for organized recreation,
members of the Veterans of For
eign Wars voted at their last
Monday meeting to sponsor the
construction of a playground.
The playground, which will
be located on ground donated by
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Carter of
Wasilla, will be laid out to in
clude a baseball field, tennis
court and volleyball court. VFW
members are organizing the
work now and have announced
that the playfield and its instal
lations will be complete by next
spring. The club has assumed
complete financial responsibility
for the work, according to quar
termaster Jimmy Nelson.
Playground planning was de
layed momentarily at the Mon
day meeting, while four new
members were welcomed into
the Wasilla club. The four in
itiates are:
Clyde D. Farley, Andrew L.
Mustain, Thomas L. Grier, Wes
ley H. Mailanen.
Holger Larsen, Fish and Wild
life Service agent of Anchorage,
was a Palmer visitor last Tues
day afternoon.
Although heavy rains prevent
ed work in the fields during
what was scheduled to be har
vest week for Matanuska Val
ley’s potato crop, pickers at the
Max Sherrod farm sneaked out
between the raindrops to gather
in seven acres of the man-size
potatoes shown in the picture
However, Mr. Sherrod is quick
to explain that the pictured 1
spuds are really tops, and the
seven acres of "Arctic Wonders”
which he will harvest this year \
don’t all grow to the size of
those in the picture. 1
But the Sherrod crop is good,
the farmer stated. He is harvest
ing an estimated 9Vfe to 10 tons
of potatoes per acre, which he
figures is probably about three
fourths a crop or better. All Val
ley potatoes are producing less
than a normal yield this year,
because of the extremely dry
winter and spring followed by
an almost rainless summer.
Mr. Sherrod says his field is
producing a better yield than
some other in the Valley, be
cause he is fortunate in being lo
cated on the riverbank, where
air currents tend to produce
warmer year-round tempera
tures, and also where there is a
rich soil area.
The best potato yield on the
Sherrod farm, which was pur
chased by its present ownner in
1940, had been the 16 tons an
acre which he harvested in 1940.
However he said that had there ’
been more moisture this year,'
the whole Valley would have'
produced a bumper crop, for
other conditions were good.
The Sherrod potatoes are
stored on the farm and market-1
ed throughout the year. A for-:
mer Co-op member, Mr. Sherrod !
withdrew from the group last
year to become an independent
There are 80 acres in all on
the Sherrod farm, 38 of them un
der cultivation. Although his po
tatoes make news, Mr. Sherrod
does not consider them any more
important than the other vege
tables grown on his acreage.
The pictured “Arctic Won
(Continued on page 5)
C of C Endorses
Petition to ARR
Petitions circulated in Palm
er for the past 10 days, asking
that two crossings of The Alaska
Railroad in downtown Palmer be
reopened, were endorsed by
members of the Chamber of
Commerce at the Wednesday
luncheon meeting.
Chamber members discussed
the matter at length. It was re
peatedly pointed out that the
crossing barricades can prove
extremely harmful to the devel
opment of Palmer. Walter E.
Huntley told the group that one
local merchant, whose place of
business lies near the north
Palmer crossing, had already
suffered materially in loss of
Several business men report
ed that the closed crossing was
probably the oldest in Palmer—
one statement asserted that it
had been in existence for 20
years. The legality of closing
such an established crossing was
questioned, but no authoritative
opinion was voiced.
The fact was also emphasized
that the substitute crossing now
in use, which necessitates rout
ing traffice on a private road
through the Alaska Road Com
mission camp, would soon be
closed also, for ARC heads were
reported planning to erect
fences to keep public traffic
from the camp.
Chamber members at first con
sidered the plan of drafting a
Chamber-sponsored petition to
present to ARR officials, but it
was decided the better policy to
endorse the present petitions now
in existence, which request that
the two closed crossings be re
It was suggested by Don Ir
win that in the event the pres
ent petition received no consid
eration by the railroad, a second
petition might be sponsored
later, requesting an alternate
crossing, if the two former roads
cannot be reopened.
Building Due
To Be Ready
By May 1st
Halted for about six months,
work got underway here again
Tuesday on the SI 60.000 to
$175,000 Matanuska Hotel.
The establishment, comple
tion of which is expected before
May 1, 1048, will attract tourists
and businessmen to Palmer by
assuring them of accommoda
«ji rw un im tj-i oum noiei is
under the direction of Walter E.
Huntley, at present in charge of
construction. Huntley, William
W. Head, certified public ac
countant of Anchorage, and I.
M. Sandvik are the original
group of stockholders. Andrew
Hassman of the Union bank in
Anchorage was recently added
to the original trio on the board
of directors. Other stockholders
also were added, Mr. Head said.
The delay in construction was”
brought about by material short
ages. the shipping strike and fi
nancial problems. “At present
there is no material shortage and
funds are available for comple
tion of the hotel,” Mr. Head
said. Arrangements have already
been made for furnishings as
well, he added.
Of prime importance now on
the construction job is putting
on the roof and closing the build
ing in so that work can be car
ried on during the. winter. “If
we can get the sheathing on. the
roof on, and the heating system
installed before the weather gets
too bad, we can work all win
ter and be finished by spring,”
Mr. Huntley reported.
The hotel will provide Palmer
and the Valley with many serv
ices. A modern coffee shop, seat
ing 44 persons, is planned, Mr.
Head revealed. There will also
be a dining room. The new struc
ture will also probably house an
airways office and bus terminal
on the ground floor.
The building is modeled on
the same sort of design as the
Westward hotel in Anchorage.
It will be two stories high with
the possibility that a third floor
will be added, if the public so
desires. This would then make a
total of 65 rooms.
The building is of frame, re
inforced, with steel-eye beams
and columns.
Each of the 45 rooms will be
furnished with a bath.
The ground was broken for
the work in October, 1945. The
project was incorporated in Aug
ust, 1946.
The building has a full con
crete basement. Steam heat will
keep the building warm. The
hotel will be insulated through
une ieaiure wm oe souna
proofing between the walls so
that guests can enjoy their pri
Plans for the structure have
been germinating for a long
time, Mr. Head said. It was real
ized soon after the highway was
put through that Palmer needed
a hotel. A recent survey shows
that the number of inquiries for
rooming accommodations in the
town has mounted over 75 a
Mr. Head said the stockhold
ers have already inquired for a
hotel manager. About 15 em
ployes, preferably Valley resi
dents, will be hired.

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