Butch Cassidy and the Museum Bid
150 years after his birth, Butch Cassidy’s home state will unveil two new museums in his honour
He’s famed as the Robin Hood of the Wild West. The career criminal beloved by all. The dead-eye shot who never killed a man. And now, 150 years after his birth, Butch Cassidy is a wanted man again.
The leader of the infamous Wild Bunch – which also included cocky young gunslinger The Sundance Kid – Butch Cassidy was born and raised in Utah. And this year, two new museums dedicated to his life and crimes are scheduled to open in his home state.
From his upbringing in the pretty town of Circleville to his most audacious crime, the Castle Gate Robbery, and his impenetrable hideout at Robbers Roost, Utah loomed large in the life of Cassidy – born Robert LeRoy Parker, the son of British parents.
Now the state is making a concerted effort to tell that story – a process started in 1969 by iconic Hollywood movie Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
The first museum is already under construction in Circleville itself, 200 miles south of Salt Lake City. It will include the Parker family cabin, which Robert grew up in with 12 brothers and sisters – and left aged 18 for a life of crime.
The second museum is in the very early stages of planning and will be in the old frontier town of Hanskville, which lies in rural southern Utah between Capital Reef and Canyonlands National Parks. It was here that a fully-fledged Cassidy and his outlaw gang would resupply their remote hideout, often drinking and gambling with the locals, who would help them cover their tracks.
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, comments: “Butch Cassidy is one of the most charismatic, compelling characters of the Old West, and its great news that these museums are seeking to tell the true story behind the Hollywood legend. With the 150th anniversary of his birth – and the 50th anniversary of the movie fast approaching – it’s the perfect time to revisit the tale of a larger than life outlaw who’s still incredibly popular in his home state of Utah today.”
Follow in Butch’s Footsteps
Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194, bon-voyage.co.uk) offers an eight night ‘Butch Cassidy Trail’ fly-drive in Utah from £1,695 per person based on two adults sharing accommodation. The price includes nonstop flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City with Delta Air Lines, car hire and all accommodation. Valid for June 2017 departures.
For more information on Utah, visit www.visitutah.com/uk