Historic preservation

The Shafer Historical Museum is pleased to bring historic preservation expert, Chris Gustafson of Vintage Windows Restoration LLC to the Methow several times over the next year to lead volunteers in hands-on training workshops in historic wood preservation.

Volunteer workparties for window repair and log/wood cleaning and treatments that meet historic and environmentally responsible standards are planned for Sept. 21-23. These are free, you're helping out the museum as a volunteer, and you learn while working on the historic wood at the Shafer Museum.

Some woodworking skill is helpful for the windows work, but not required. Wood cleaning & treating just requires ability to dry brush, spray a hose, or wield a paint brush. 

Email Suzanne at director @ shafermuseum . org for more info or to sign up, or go to Volunteer Methow for more info on shifts and what's involved. 


If you have a historic structure on your property which you’d like assessed, Chris is available for a limited number of consultations by appointment by completing the work request form on his website vintagewindowrestorationllc.com. He's in town from Sept 18-25th, 2023. He'll be back again, so you can talk to him about future projects!

The dry wood and poor drainage around these 1890's cabins were evident in this before image (above) .
Guy Waring's 1897 cabin before cleaning, oiling and pest treatment (above)
Treatment in progress:The dark side is where oil has been applied on the Guy Waring "Castle."

Rehabilitation of historic buildings

The Shafer Historical Museum was awarded a Heritage Capital Projects Grant for the 2023-2025 biennium! The $62,000 grant will be matched from donations from Give Methow 2022 donors, the Philadelphia Foundation in honor of Carl Miller, and in-kind gifts of material and labor.

The project will inclue the preservation & rehabilitation of four historic buildings - the Waring cabin (the "Castle", built in 1897), the Ortell cabin (housing the schoolhouse display, 1893), the Nickell family's homesteaders cabin and the "Pioneer Press" building. The work includes:

·       hard pathways through the gravel to improve accessibility

·       roof replacement on Castle & Ortell cabins

·       window and wood log preservation treatment & volunteer education

·       masonry rehabilitation

·       lighting upgrades & heating installation

Exterior treatments began in September 2022. Both a volunteer service project AND educational, museum volunteers & historic building owners learn techniques and environmentally-friendly treatments for wood restoration and preservation. You can too! Please join the crew - no expertise is necessary!

Volunteers basking in the satisfaction of a job well done.

Chris Gustafson (2nd from right), owner of Vintage Window Restoration in Astoria, OR led Shafer Museum volunteer crews in cleaning and treating three of the historic log cabins at the museum September 16-25, 2022. He'll be back to work on the Castle's windows September 21-23, 2023.