Walk Through the Past

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.

 
Except for the old log town hall, Waring owned every building on Winthrop's main street. Bankrupt in 1916, he again went east, leaving his stepson, Harry Greene, to live in his showplace home. When the Greenes left a few years later, it was used by the Episcopal church. In 1943, purchased by local merchant Simon Shafer, the Winthrop landmark was made into a museum. Eventually turned over to the Okanogan County Historical Society, the museum's village of buildings has been gradually improved and expanded.