I own an 1883 photo taken in Hunter’s Hot Springs, Montana, that supposedly shows Wyatt and Morgan Earp, Teddy Roosevelt, Butch Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean and other notables. Is it legit?
Yep, I used to have that photograph in my files, but I traded it to a guy for an authentic photo of Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Britney Spears and Elvis at a celebrity fund-raiser in Broken Pelvis, Montana, back in 1949.
Seriously, here’s what Wild Bunch expert and author Dan Buck says about it: “The Hunter’s Hot Springs group portrait has been knocking around for some years. It’s as authentic as the jackalope and as verifiable as the legend of the vanishing hitchhiker. I do not know of any serious Western historian who gives credence to the roster of Old West celebrities scrawled on the photo.
“It is worth noting that in 1883, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were teenagers, not the adults in the photo. Morgan Earp, who is supposedly in the picture, had been murdered in 1882.”
Supposedly the guys depicted in the photo were local residents—some of whom bore a slight resemblance to the men.