Historic Sites

Utah to spend $138,000 to restore Butch Cassidy's cabin

'Legends & Lies' investigates 'The Real West'

 

Utah state officials are going to spend $138,000 to restore a decaying wood cabin in Piute County that has become a tourist spot because it's believed to be the boyhood home of outlaw Butch Cassidy.

The Utah Legislature has authorized $138,000 to disassemble the decrepit cabin outside Circleville and put it back together piece by restored piece, KSL-TV reported

"It's slowly degrading," said Piute County Commissioner Darin Bushman. "It's not on a real foundation and it's slowly tilting and leaning and listing. And we just, we really wanted to preserve the cabin."

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The state is also working to build a parking lot big enough for 20 cars and four buses.

"We took some counts," Bushman said. "We were getting between 60 and 90 cars a day stopping here, out on the highway."

The cabin is currently owned by Afton Morgan, but many believe it is where Cassidy grew up. Cassidy, whose real name was Robert Leroy Parker, was born in Beaver in 1866 and the Parker family did live in the Circleville cabin. It is unknown if Cassidy lived there with his family of if he had already left to live the life of an outlaw.

"There's a lot of rumors of that," Morgan said. "But to the best of our knowledge, Butch came here when he was just a young boy. I've heard all the way from 8 to 12 years old."

Fred Hayes, director of the Utah Division of State Parks, said his agency will develop information signs for the historic site. He said the division will do its best to get the history right, including the ongoing debate on whether or not the law ever caught Cassidy.

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In the popular 1969 movie about the outlaw, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," the gang of outlaws flees to South America and dies in a shootout in 1908. Morgan said he doesn't believe the Hollywood ending.

"I don't buy that story, nope!" Morgan said. "We have people from Panguitch and people from Circleville, and they claim they saw him in the '30s."