The original townsite of Knik was first inhabited by Athabaskan Indians. During the first census in 1880 the valley was populated by 172 Athabaskan Indians and only a few white men. The village of Knik had a population of 46.The first white resident of Knik was George Palmer and by 1900 the white population of the valley was apx 100. That year Orville G. Herning arrived in Knik. He was hired by the Klondike & Boston Company to open a trail to the Willow Creek Mining District.
By 1905 Knik had its own Post Office, 2 stores, a roadhouse and several cabins. In 1910 the population was over 100 and by 1914-1915 around 500 people lived in Knik, and a couple hundred people lived in the surrounding area.
1915 was the peak for Knik, there were 4 general stores, four hotels, three saloons, a fuel company, a movie house, barber shop and pool room, and its own Newspaper The Knik News. When the railroad decided to bypass Knik and go through what is now Wasilla the people in Knik moved their buisnesses to Wasilla and some to Anchorage. O.G. Herning built the Herning Store on Main Street in Wasilla According to the Frontiersman Newspaper 9/25/98 the Knik Town Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 24, 1973. Two buildings remain standing- the Pool Hall, which is now the Knik Museum, and the Bjorn Cabin.