Puhl House – Palmer AK

City:
Palmer, AK

Site Type:
Forestry and Agriculture, Resettlement Communities

New Deal Agencies:
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), Work Relief Programs

Started:
1935

Quality of Information:
Very Good

Site Survival:
Extant

Description

The Puhl House is a historic farm associated with the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation’s Matanuska Colony project, established by the Resettlement Administration (RA). Built in 1935, the complex includes a log house, a barn, and four sheds. While the structures were built by private individuals, the farmstead is associated with the New Deal because it was made possible by 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 log house: “The house is a one-story log building. It is rectangular in plan, and measures 35′ x 25 ‘. There is a rectangular entry vestibule on the west side. […] Wall logs are full round, saddle notched at the corners, and graduated in both length and diameter. […] The logs used in this house were not the typical three-sided ones used throughout the colony project because this house was not built by the WPA construction crews as most of the farm houses were. With the assistance of fellow colonists, Puhl built his house, barn, and outbuildings. The WPA crews were behind schedule and by organizing his own crew, Puhl did not have to wait.”

“Joe and Blanche Puhl and their two children moved from Rice Lake, Wisconsin to Alaska as part of the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation resettlement project. Puhl was one of the first colonists to begin paying his own way just fourteen months after the project started. This was possible because Puhl built or helped to build his farm buildings. The average colonist’s debt quickly exceeded the $3,500 estimated cost for farmstead construction. Puhl’s total debt for land, buildings, and improvements totaled only $2,437, much less than the $9,600 average. Because the WPA construction crews were behind schedule, Puhl organized a group of colonists and procured the materials to build his house. It is different from most other colony houses with its full-round as opposed to three-sided logs. The Puhl family lived in the house from 1935 to 1942.”

Source notes

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Puhl House, accessed on June 19, 2017.

Wikipedia Page for Puhl House, accessed on June 19, 2017.

Site originally submitted by Brent McKee on June 20, 2017.

Location Info


13151 East Scott Road
Palmer, AK

Coordinates: 61.61383, -149.15180

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