Built in 1982, the first incarnation of this grand establishment was the Olde Tyme Saloon, lending itself to the whimsy of that era. The Sistine Chapel of Alaska was painted by a long-time Talkeetnan who was paid in draught beverages for his services – as the story goes. It was during this time that this property began its career as a Talkeetna event venue for many a musical performance. One of the first Talkeetna Bluegrass festivals was held here.
It’s unclear exactly when the Old Tyme Saloon went out of business, but the property saw a few different owners until Jim Kloss and Esther Golton saw much potential for their musical aspirations in this (at the time) largely degraded site in need of much repair. It was then that Esther, a professional musician, and Jim a computer wizard and lover of independent music, had been holding house concerts in their tiny house in East Talkeetna and were looking for a larger venue to continue their aspirations of hosting independent music. And so began their long journey of re-building and re-furbishing this site largely into what it is today, becoming Whole Wheat Radio and later the Birch Creek Center.
We at The Grove are most gracious to those who have come before us indelibly adding to the strength, beauty, functionality, and mystique to this place. Now it is our turn to add our legacy of food production and sustainability and to share with others all that this site has to offer.