Hyland Hotel in PalmerSource: Trwhite98
The Hyland Hotel, also known as the Everglenn Hotel, is a historic property, part of the Settlement and Economic Development of Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Valley, and is nominated as a community center building within the New Deal Colony Settlement of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Alaska. The hotel was built on one of the main streets of Palmer, a city founded by the Federal Government for the for Matanuska Colony rural resettlement program. While the hotel was built by private individuals, the structure is associated with the New Deal because it was made possible by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration’s Matanuska Colony initiative and the land it distributed to farmers.
A registration form of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) describes the characteristics of the structure: “The hotel is set back only a few feet from the road. The building is a two-and-a-half-story frame structure set on a full basement. It has a gable roof. Square in plan, the original building measures 30 x 30 feet. It was covered with drop siding. Tall and narrow casement windows were used. A porch enclosed with multi-pane windows spans the front facade. In1953, a 10 x 14 foot, two-story addition was added to the rear of the building and the entire structure was covered with asbestos siding. The addition is not visible from the front elevation.
When it opened, the hotel had four single rooms, two double rooms, and three apartments. […]”
The same NRHP form includes a brief history of the house and its former owners: “Shortly after the arrival of the Matanuska Colony settlers, Myles and Joanna Hyland moved to Palmer from Girdwood, Alaska, where Myles had been working for the Alaska Railroad. The Hylands bought a lot from John Bugge, a pre-colony homesteader, in what is now downtown Palmer, and began building the hotel.
In September, the Hylands began digging the basement for the hotel by hand. To help financially, Joanna cooked and served meals in a tent on the property while the hotel was being built. Lumber for the hotel came from a dormitory that had stood at the nearby Eska coalmine. The Lutheran congregation purchased the dormitory and dismantled and moved it to Palmer to be used to build their church. The congregation sold the surplus lumber and windows. The Hylands furnished the hotel with one hundred dollars worth of furniture they purchased in Anchorage. When the hotel opened, single rooms rented for three dollars a day and double rooms for four dollars. Valley coal miners often rented rooms in the hotel during the winter months.
The Hylands operated the hotel together until Myles 1 death in 1949, then Joanna took over on her own. Joanna later married a local miner named James Smith, and they operated the hotel until 1966. Except for a brief period in the late 1950s, the hotel has continuously operated.“
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Hyland Hotel, accessed on June 14, 2017. Wikipedia Page for Hyland Hotel, accessed on June 14, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on June 16, 2017.
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