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
158 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This free museum , although they ask for donations of at least $3 each, is very near the centre of Winthrop, has so many exhibits and buildings showcasing how life has existed in the 1800s and onwards...  more »
  • Donation only so no cost. This place has so much to see and will learn alot about the history of the area. A Great place to take kids so they can learn what life was like and see the tools that were u...  more »
  • My husband and 15yo son can spend HOURS talking about all the old time machinery and historical artifacts that the Shafer Museum houses within it's open-to-the-public walls. This place was the BOMB wh...  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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2 days in Winthrop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in North Cascades National Park & Stehekin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 36 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Winthrop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Chelan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Chelan SEE PLAN January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Winthrop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Winthrop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Chelan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Chelan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
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