Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Butch Cassidy Festival at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Warrior Peak above paintbrush in Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA.
Warrior Peak in Cirque of the Towers.
Butch Cassidy, or Robert Leroy Park as he was born, was a notorious bank robber, train robber, and leader of the Wild Bunch Gang in the Old West.  He grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah, but later lived in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming.

In 1890, Cassidy purchased a ranch near Dubois, Wyoming.  The ranch was across the state from the notorious Hole-in-the-wall, a natural geographical formation that outlaws commonly used for protection and cover.  Many suspect Cassidy’s ranching, which he was never financially successful at, was simply a front for illegal activities with Hole-in-the-Wall outlaws.

In 1894, Cassidy was arrested in Lander, Wyoming, for stealing horses and possibly for running a protection racket among the local ranchers.  He served 18 months in the Wyoming State Prison in Laramie – the only prison to ever incarcerate Cassidy.

The Wyoming State Prison is one of the oldest buildings in Wyoming, having been built in 1872.  It first served as a federal penitentiary before becoming a state prison.  Today, the facility is open to the public, designated as the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.

Windy Peak reflected in Cook Lake at Sunrise.
The Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site is open daily from May 1st through October 30th.  It offers both guided and self-guided tours for a small admission fee.

Beginning June 14th, the prison will host the Butch Cassidy Festival.  A special dedication of their new exhibit “Butch Cassidy:  Who Was That Guy?” will happen at this time.  I am proud to say that two of my images from the Wind River Range will be a central part of the display, celebrating the very area that Butch Cassidy called home.

The first image is of Warrior Peak above paintbrush in Cirque of the Towers, a popular rock climbing destination and a favorite area for photographers and backpackers.

The second image is from a much less visited, yet highly scenic area on the east side of the range.  The scene is Windy Peak reflected in remote Cook Lake at sunrise.  Cook Lake is located above Smith Lake and the Popo Agie River valley.

You can view these images and more in my Wind River Gallery.

Thanks for visiting!