Minnie Olson, the longest-surviving adult participant in the Depression-era Matanuska Colony project starting in 1935, died Monday in Kentucky at the age of 101, reports the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Olson and her husband were also among the first to quit the Colony, after only a few months.
“This is indeed the end of an era,” said filmmaker Joanie Juster, whose films include “Alaska Far Away” and “Where the River Matanuska Flows.” “As far we have been able to determine, these were the last two adults who took the chance to make a better life for themselves.”
Local history buff Jim Fox told Juster another of the original Colonists, Lila Ennes McClanahan, died Dec. 31, 2012, in Harbor Springs, Mich. She was 100.
“They are the last two that we know of,” he wrote in an email. “Probably the closing of an era.”