Shafer Historical Museum, Winthrop

4.7
#2 of 13 in Things to do in Winthrop
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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Shafer Historical Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
152 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • If your driving home to Seattle or the west side, this little town is amazing to stop and see the way the cowboys lived. My kids loved it, they wanted to wear cowboy hats and all. We stopped and made ...  more »
  • Spend about a half hour strolling back in time learning about the pioneering and mining days of the Methow Valley, They museum has a great collection of period mining equipment as well as reconstructe...  more »
  • This is a great museum with outdoor exhibits of old cars, appliances etc. Also rooms where you can wander through and look at unusual and interesting antiques. The volunteer docents were helpful and f...  more »
Google
  • Very cool experience to browse the history of this area. Rich selection of antique equipment to browse. Lots of informative plaques to read about the history of the equipment and the area.
  • Was just going to do a cursory pass-through... ended up spending nearly THREE hours at the fascinating frontier displays of early pioneer life. Super cool, I especially liked the press/newspaper cabin with the antique presses, type blocks and plates. Also fascinating were the doctor's office, school room, dress-maker's, farm and manufacturing equipment, transportation, general store and massive rifle/gun display. Can't wait to go back and check it out further someday
  • So much to see, the history and local artifacts are so interesting. Take your time and enjoy the variety.
  • Wonderful spot if you like old machinery and descriptions of what it was like for the people brave enough to venture out and settle in that area over the years. Easy to walk to from town.
  • Really cool museum to learn about old technologies used in the wild west. Some very interesting old mining and farming equipment as well as some really cool replica buildings.
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