Methow Valley Books

The history of Winthrop Washington in the Methow Valley begins when Native Americans lived along the banks of the Methow, Twisp and Chewuch rivers. The Native Americans lived off of camas root, picking berries, fishing and hunting. The first white men to visit the valley were trappers in the 1800’s.

But it was in 1883 when the lure of gold brought the first permanent white settlers. Three of these settlers were James Ramsey, Ben Pearrygin and Guy Waring. Waring stopped at the forks of the Chewuch and Methow rivers in 1891. Here he and his family settled a home they called the “Castle.” The castle is now the Shafer Museum.

Guy Waring

Although Waring is the acclaimed founding father, the town is named after Theodore Winthrop, a Yale graduate, adventurer/traveler and gifted 19th century author. The town was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1893. Waring’s original Duck Brand Saloon (considered the best run saloon in the country by numerous church publications) was built in 1891.

It survived the fire and is now Winthrop’s Town Hall. Waring’s “Methow Trading Company” operated for 49 years beginning in 1897.

Owen Wister, Waring’s Harvard roommate, wrote The Virginian, America’s first western novel, after honey-mooning in Winthrop.

Western Restoration History

In 1972, when State Highway 20 was nearing completion over the North Cascades, several business people began planning for travelers passing through the town. Mrs. Kathryn Wagner and her husband Otto came up with the idea of a western restoration. All of the local merchants pitched in financially and Mrs. Wagner paid the balance for the reconstruction, painting and new signs

The architect and designer was Robert Jorgenson of Leavenworth, Washington. He who wanted “to make the design as authentic as possible in order to preserve the spirit of the valley”. The original signs were created by Chet Endrezzi.

Cattle drives, medicine shows, pack trains and the mystique of the old west are still part of the Methow Valley experience. Almost completely surrounded by National Forest, State Game Range and Wilderness areas, Winthrop and the upper Methow Valley beckons adventurers of all kinds.

Lost Homeland: the Methow Tribe and the Columbia Reservation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780977972661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shafer Historical Museum -

The North Cascades Highway: A Roadside Guide to America's Alps Cover Image
ISBN: 9780295993164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Washington Press - October 1st, 2013

The Thirtymile Fire: A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805083309
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - May 27th, 2008

The Canoe and the Saddle: A Critical Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803298637
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - November 1st, 2006

The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby Cover Image
By William Dietrich, Craig Romano (Contribution by), Christian Martin (Contribution by)
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ISBN: 9781594857713
Published: Mountaineers Books - October 1st, 2014

The Way I Heard It: A Three Nation Reading Vacation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781483603698
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Xlibris - February 28th, 2013

Last Chief Standing: A Tale of Two Cultures Cover Image
ISBN: 9781468167757
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - May 8th, 2012

Go-La'-ka Wa-Wal-sh (Raven Speaks): A collection of articles about the culture and history of the Colville Confederated Tribes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781507751091
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - February 18th, 2015

Coyote Finishes the People, Second Edition: A collection of Indian Coyote stories, new & old, telling about the evolution of human consciousness. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781478303572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - July 28th, 2012