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Good News for Shafer Museum
Large gift announced at annual dinner

Above Right: Shafer volunteers and guests enjoy dinner at the Methow Valley Inn. Above: Shafer Museum president Richard Hart had the good news.


William Milton Miller and Helen Miller left the Shafer Museum in Winthrop a gift of $110,000, museum president Richard Hart announced at a museum dinner on Wednesday.

“We hope to honor the Miller family and fulfill some of our dreams for the museum at the same time,” with the generous bequest, said Hart. One dream would be to develop the new area, across the street from the museum, with a historic silo and barn. Another is to develop a climate-controlled room where fragile relics could be better preserved. The Shafer Museum Board will decide how the money is used.

The museum volunteers and their guests attending the dinner at the Methow Valley Inn in Twisp appeared pleased by the announcement. The conversations buzzed over the meal, which the Shafer Museum Board organizes annually as a thank-you to the approximately 65 volunteers who contribute time to developing and operating the museum. About 45 people attended Wednesday night’s dinner.

William Milton Miller was raised on the old Rose Miller place in the Rendezvous area of the Methow Valley. He grew up helping pack horses on trips into the mountains and run the farm, according to one of his nephews, Carl Miller, who is himself a Shafer Museum Board member and strong supporter.

At about 30 years old, Bill Miller left the Methow to work at the dry docks in what is now Todd’s Pacific Shipyard in Puget Sound, said Carl Miller. “He used to come back a lot. He worked with the family on the Beaver Creek Ranch.” 

Bill Miller loved family and he had a lot of family in the Methow to love, Carl said.  He guesses some 35 Miller family members still reside here, where the family has made, and is preserving, local history.