The Saratoga Sun -

Descendants of Encampment Inn owner reunite in Valley


Courtesy of Schelby Betz

Left to right: Candace Whitaker, Doris Parrish and Schelby Betz, descendants of Pearl Thompson, are gathering for a family reunion in Carbon County. This will be Parrish’s first time in the county since she left in the 1970s.

Three generations of a family with deep roots in Carbon County’s history will meet in Saratoga Friday.

The encounter marks the first time the family will get together in the county limits. No one is more excited than Schelby Betz, the youngest of the three.

“It is kind of interesting that three generations will end up here where the family got started,” she said.

Betz plans to meet her mother Candace Whitaker and her grandmother Doris Parrish, along with other family members and friends, for a gathering Friday.

Betz’s mother was born and raised in the county, living in Sinclair. Parrish’s family moved to Rawlins when Whitaker was still in grade school. Whitaker and her family would often visit the A Bar A Ranch because her father (Betz’s grandfather) was a square dance caller.

Betz said she first got interested in the family history when she moved to Wyoming in April from her home near Boulder, Colo. Betz moved to the Platte Valley for a job opportunity.

Although Wyoming was the last place Betz thought she would end up, she said it gave her an opportunity to explore Carbon County, and gain appreciation for her family’s history.

“Finally understanding where everyone comes from and discovering my family’s history is fascinating,” Betz said.

Betz discovered her great- great- great aunt Pearl Thompson came to Encampment at the age of 13 in the 1880s in search for her brother. Thompson ended up staying in Encampment and became the owner of the Encampment Inn, until she died at the age of 80.

“I knew where my mom was from, but I didn’t realize my great-great-great aunt used to own the Encampment Inn,” she said.

The family reunion will also mark Parrish’s first time back in Carbon County since she left in the 1970s.


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