Shafer Historical Museum, Winthrop

#1 of 16 in Things to do in Winthrop
Must see · History Museum · Museum
In 1891, 32 year old Harvard graduate named Guy Waring arrived in the Methow Valley, spotted a market in the handful of miners and ranchers living nearby and opened Winthrop's first general store. After two years of success, the store burned and Waring was forced to move back east to recoup his losses.

Three years later he returned to rebuild his business, having enticed his reluctant wife to return with him by promising to build her a fine home. This carefully crafted log house, called "The Castle" by locals, is now the centerpiece of the Shafer Museum. 0wen Wister, author of The Virginian, visited here twice, drawing some of his story from the area.

The Shafer Museum showcases the rich and varied history of Winthrop: its unique local characters; its mining, ranching, and farming history; and its evolution from a small Native site on the shores of the Chewuch River to the diverse cultural mecca it is today.
Take a look at our Winthrop road trip site to schedule your visit to Shafer Historical Museum and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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  • This was billed as a good place to get an introduction to the town of Winthrop. It was. The Methow Valley can take you back in time to its cowboy days if you shut your eyes and let your imagination.....  more »
  • Great place to check out artifacts and learn about the early days of settling in the Methow valley area. There is a great deal of fascinating information available here and many interesting pieces...  more »
  • This place is super cool if you like history and old stuff. Even our five-year-old got into it. They had a little scavenger hunt for her to dig into, and she had a good time imagining where she would sleep in a tiny cabin. This was a pleasant surprise and a worthwhile stop.
  • This is a great spot to see how the west was started and the hard way of life the settlers had to endure. Lots to see with many of the original buildings. Donation only for entrance. There is a drinking fountain on site. Two minutes from downtown and well worth it
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