Episode 10-The Ghost Town of South Pass City, Wyoming On this episode we delve into some of the history of a very often visited ghost town known as South Pass City in Wyoming! Listen now on iTunes Listen now on Stitcher
**This article was originally written for the American West History and Lore podcast which was released on September 23rd, 2017.** Restoration becomes a reality
By Paul Workman
If you haven't heard the name Butch Cassidy, you've probably been living under a rock. But for those of you who haven't heard of him, here is brief overview. Butch Cassidy, Born Robert LeRoy Parker on April 13th, 1866 in Beaver, Utah, Grew up to be on e of the most notorious outlaws of the American West. He robbed many banks and trains and his association with many other outlaws of the time including Elzy Lay, Kid Curry and Ben Kilpatrick, just to name a few, led to the formation of a gang that came to be known as "The Wild Bunch".
In 1879, The Parker family moved to a piece of property near Circleville, Utah in Piute County where Robert, or Butch, performed various chores to help maintain the family ranch. It's this piece of property that has the residents of Piute County excited.
On December 7th of 2016, many news outlets reported that Utah State officials were going to spend $138,000 to help restore what is believed to be the boyhood home of Butch Cassidy. On Tuesday, September 19th of this year Piute Counties dream of restoring that boyhood home came true after the its restoration had been completed and a ribbon cutting and dedicatory ceremony took place. On a Facebook video posted the next day on the Utah State Parks and Recreation page is shown clips from the event where many gathered to take part in the celebratory events of the day.
Darin Bushman, a Piute county commisioner, said that the project had actually been in the works for about 3 years now and that among some old farming equipment and an old granary that was already on the premises, many people have come forward with items they had in their possession that had originally belonged to the Parker family, so Bushman anticipates the site to grow over time with new memorabilia.
Bushman also states "So one of the reasons we had interest in restoring Butch Cassidy's boyhood home was obviously its a piece of our heritage, a piece of our history and we hate to see that disappear. Ya know, ultimately we need to preserve these heritage sites as much as we possibly can, But for Piute county this is really crucial. With the freeway system and Highway 20 and the advent of electronic navigation, it's pretty easy to get where you wanna go in the state of Utah without coming down Highway 89, without coming through Piute County and frankly, you're missing the best part of Utah."
There's no doubt that something this historically significant will entice tourists to visit the great county of Piute and I most definitely encourage you to make the trip to see Butch Cassidy's boyhood home, I know I will.