Bank of Montpelier gets Hollywood star for Butch Cassidy

Hollywood star for Butch Cassidy

MONTPELIER, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In 1896, the infamou outlaw Butch Cassidy and his "Wild Bunch" robbed the Bank of Montpelier. 

The Bank of Montpelier is the last standing bank Cassidy and his gang are known to have robbed. For three years, the bank has been a Butch Cassidy Museum. Now, a Hollywood star has been added to its sidewalk to officially commemorate the bank's history.

The star is 32 inches by 32 inches and weighs 275 pounds. It's made of brass and cost about $20,000. The money for the star, and all other work put into restoring the bank into a museum, comes out-of-pocket from the owner. 

Kathy Bartschi, manager of the museum, said it's been really exciting to see history being preserved. She said the process of getting the star in has been a long one but worth it.

“It’s been exciting actually," Bartschi said. "It’s took us two years to get it in, almost two years, and we finally did it on the 13th of last month.”

The outer ring of the star lists the names of Cassidy's gang. The inside of the star lists the sheriff and his deputy. All names who were a part of the Aug. 13, 1896 bank robbery. 

The star sits on what appears to be wood, but is actually cement made to look like the old-style boardwalk wood of the 1800s. Two hitching posts have also been added to enhance the authenticity. Underneath the star is a time capsule, which includes a bottle of whiskey. The owner said that way when it's opened in who knows how many years, there will be aged old-time whiskey, hopefully adding a little of that outlaw feel. 

“I think it’s going to make us even bigger and better," Bartschi added about the star. Bartschi said people have really enjoyed the museum so far and she hopes the new addition of the star will keep helping bring more people to town.

“The first year he had 3,000 people through the door," Bartschi said. "Last year, we had over 6,000 and this year we’re going to try and top that.”

Part of the museum tells the story of Cassidy and the mystery of the number 13. Many things in Cassidy's life associated with that number. Cassidy was born on April 13, 1866, and was the oldest of 13 children. His first known run-in with the law was at age 13. He robbed the Bank of Montpelier on Aug. 13, 1896, at 13 minutes past 3 o'clock. The last deposit that was made before the robbery was for the amount of $13. And now the star continues that mystery. The Hollywood start was added to the museum on May 13, which the museum said was unintentional. Bartschi said nobody even realized until afterward what date it was that the star had gone in. 

The Butch Cassidy Museum will be holding Butch Cassidy Days again in the summer. Butch Cassidy Days includes a cook-off, a reenactment of the bank robbery, and more. Butch Cassidy Days will be Aug. 12.     

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