Wasilla | Mat-Su
Wasilla is situated between the Matanuska and Susitna valleys of south-central Alaska, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.
There are traces of human habitation here going back several thousand years. First by the Dena’ina Alaska natives then the Russians in the 1700s. In 1917 the Alaska Railroad was extended to join with the Carle Wagon Road and Wasilla became the main supply center in the area. Over the past several years, it has been one of America’s fastest growing cities and is the fifth largest city in the state with a population of around 7000. Sarah Palin was Wasilla’s mayor before her election as Governor of Alaska from 2006 -2009.
Wasilla is also the headquarters for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race that is a commemoration of Alaska’s colorful past. The Iditarod Trail, which is now a national historical trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route. It began in the coastal towns of Seward and Knik and extended to the interior mining communities and beyond to the west coast villages. Mail and supplies went in, gold came out, all via dog sled.
Dorothy Page Museum was built in 1931 as a community hall and in 1967 it became Wasilla’s first museum. Today, the Museum continues to educate and inspire through exhibitions, programs and lectures. They have an expansive collection representing the most comprehensive assemblage of Wasilla artifacts in the region.
Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce For a complete listing of events and activities in the Wasilla area check out our website. 415 E Railroad Ave. 907-376-1299
The town of Wasilla was founded in 1917 and came into prominence when the Alaska Railroad was built to access the interior and resources of Alaska and in doing so served the Willow Creek Mining District. From 1907 until the mines were closed by the government during World War II, the district contributed to Alaska’s lode gold production. Most of the mining activity was focused in the area of the Little Susitna drainage, but the name “Willow Creek District” was retained from older usage, even though the mines in the Willow Creek drainage for the most part had been worked out or closed.At a time when gold was valued between $20 to $35 an ounce almost 18 million dollars worth of gold was extracted from mines with names like Gold Cord, Independence, Lucky Shot and War Baby.