Founded in 1997, the Winslow Historical Society receives, preserves, and interprets information and artifacts representing the history and cultures of the Winslow area, in order to engage and enlighten all visitors to the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs. (Above: Second Street/US Route 66 looking east in the 1940s)
A Brief History of the Old Trails Museum
Owned and operated by the Winslow Historical Society, the Old Trails Museum originally operated as the Winslow branch of the Navajo County Historical Society (NCHS), which incorporated in 1969. Built in 1921, the building housed the Union Bank and Trust until 1924, First National Bank of Winslow from 1924 to 1946, Valley National Bank until 1950, and Western Savings and Loan until the bank donated the building to NCHS in 1985.
After four years of improvements, the Old Trails Museum opened in July 1989. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019 and as part of the Winslow Commercial Historic District in 1989. The original marble-faced counters, mosaic tile floor, and vault provide a historic backdrop for the museum’s exhibits and collections.
To better focus on their town’s history, the Board of NCHS’s Winslow branch decided to form their own entity. They incorporated as the Winslow Historical Society (WHS) in 1997. A dedicated group of museum staff, Board members, and volunteers continue to improve the historic building and develop exhibits that interpret Winslow’s diverse history.
In 2009, the WHS Board opened the OTM Store, which specializes in regional Navajo and Hopi arts and crafts, books on local and regional history, and the museum’s annual historical calendar featuring images of Winslow’s history.