This popular Old West museum features a collection of pioneer nostalgia and buildings. Guy Waring built the 74-foot museum building as a log home for him and his wife, Helen in 1897. She called it "The Castle" and it overlooks Winthrop and to the west the Sawtooth Mountain Range. The Episcopal Church purchased the building in the early 20's and was used as such until 1943 when Simon Shafer (who owned a general mercantile store in Winthrop) purchased it and turned it into the Shafer Historical Museum we have today. Year after year the Shafer family maintained the museum adding artifacts to it.
In 1976 the Shafers donated The Castle to the Okanogan Historical Society and in 1982 it was placed in the National Register of Historical Places. The original museum, home of Winthrop founder Guy Waring, has been redecorated as a turn of the century rustic pioneer home. A pioneer cabin moved from upper Bear Creek has been redone as a schoolhouse. Visitors can also enjoy seeing an early day print shop, stagecoach, antique farm equipment, old cars, assay office, doctor's office, the largest display of mining equipment from the surrounding gold and silver mines, and a settlers cabin. Old photographs from the past are on display for history buffs with an interest in history.
Maybe you'd like to reminisce about the past with tourists and talk a little about the "good old days." The three museums that make up the historical society, Shafer, Molson, and Okanogan, are in great need of volunteers to work during the three months that they are open to visitors! You do not have to be an expert on the history of Okanogan County and you do not need to be a member of the historical society. You just need to be willing to spend a few hours welcoming visitors to the museum and selling souvenirs and books from the mercantile store. For more information call 509-422-4272.
Click on these signs for more information about our Mercantile and joining the Okanogan Historical Society.
285 Castle Avenue
Winthrop, WA 98862
Winthrop, WA 98862
The Shafer Museum is funded by donations so please feel free to contribute for future generations to enjoy this piece of history.
Click here to read more about Winthrop's History