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Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy

 
 
In honor of a President . . . (Top of Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
1. In honor of a President . . . (Top of Marker)
Inscription.
      Behind the visitor center is an old, rustic cabin. Architecturally insignificant, a person might wonder why it is here. To understand, step over the threshold and walk inside the building that housed a future president at a pivotal moment in his development as a man.

      Heavily burdened by grief and anguish, a twenty-four year old Theodore Roosevelt retreated to North Dakota after his young wife and his mother died at their home in New York within hours of each other. Attempting to remove the painful memory of these tragic deaths from his mind, Roosevelt escaped the bustling east coast to find healing in North Dakota’s great expanse of grass and sky. When he stepped off the train, the Maltese Cross cabin – his first ranch home – was the place that offered him warmth, shelter, and solace.

     Theodore Roosevelt recovered here and as he did, he had the opportunity to walk in another man’s shoes, to see the last of America’s frontier, to swell with excitement while riding after cattle across the open range! He fell in love with the awesome wonders of the natural world: its detail, diversity, and wild freshness. He witnessed the destruction and devastation caused by reckless, greedy, and wasteful use of resources and found value in a continent not yet completely subdued by civilized development.

. . . and His Conservation Legacy (Bottom of Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
2. . . . and His Conservation Legacy (Bottom of Marker)
      These experiences became apparent later in his career as he became known as the “Conservationist” President. While in office, he set aside over 230 million acres of federal land for conservation – a quantity of land larger than the entire State of Texas. He signed and invoked the Antiquities Act that allowed him, and future presidents, to preserve federal lands as National Monuments. Using this and previous legislation, he established 150 National Forests, 23 National Parks and Monuments, 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, and 24 Reclamation Projects.

      After his death, Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park was set aside to honor Theodore Roosevelt and his conservation legacy. Later, the park’s name was changed to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The images below are a few of the places Theodore Roosevelt helped preserve. Imagine what our country would look like today had he not acted at this particular moment in time. Imagine how much less rich our landscape would be! Be glad this cabin is here, that Theodore Roosevelt was here, and that, we, as his “future generations,” are able to reap the benefits of his experience in North Dakota.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 46° 54.982′ 
In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
3. In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy Marker
N, 103° 31.556′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is on Easy River Road, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located in front of the Visitor Center in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Medora ND 58645, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stephen Tyng Mather (a few steps from this marker); Loading Dock (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joe Ferris General Store (about 500 feet away); Great Western Trail (about 600 feet away); Medora Livery Stable (about 600 feet away); Medora Business District (about 600 feet away); Cowboys (about 600 feet away); Ralph “Doc” Hubbard (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Medora.
 
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt. The bottom of the marker features pictures of places that Roosevelt preserved.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Historic American Building Survey Record for the Roosevelt Cabin. Includes photos and schematics of the cabin. (Submitted on August 22, 2015.) 

2. Maltese Cross Cabin. The Natonal Park Service page for the history of the Roosevelt cabin. (Submitted on August 22, 2015.) 
 
Categories. EnvironmentNotable Persons
 
Marker in Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
4. Marker in Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park
In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
5. In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy Marker
<i>"Theodore Roosevelt's Cabin Near Medora N.Dak." image. Click for full size.
circa 1900
6. "Theodore Roosevelt's Cabin Near Medora N.Dak."
"Where He Lived on Ranch from 1883 to 1886." Note that the cabin was moved a number of times, and it is unclear whether this photo shows it in the original location. The building had apparently already undergone substantial modification, with a new roof of decreased pitch installed.
Log cabin on the Chimney-Butte Ranch near Medora, N.D., the home of President Roosevelt, 1883-84 image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Kitchin, circa 1904
7. Log cabin on the Chimney-Butte Ranch near Medora, N.D., the home of President Roosevelt, 1883-84
This photo, taken only a few years later, shows the cabin at a different location, but still prior to its relocation to St. Louis for the 1904 World's Fair.
<i>SOUTHWEST PERSPECTIVE. - Theodore Roosevelt Maltese Cross-Ranch Cabin, Roosevelt State Park</i> image. Click for full size.
By John A. Bryan, August 2, 1952
8. SOUTHWEST PERSPECTIVE. - Theodore Roosevelt Maltese Cross-Ranch Cabin, Roosevelt State Park
In this picture the cabin is located in Bismarck on the State Capitol grounds.
Moving the Cabin image. Click for full size.
Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service, 1959
9. Moving the Cabin
The National Park Service acquired the Maltese Cross Cabin from the State of North Dakota in 1959 and moved the structure to the park entrance in Medora, ND by flatbed truck. The cabin's distinctive attic space, noticeably absent in this photograph, was restored after the park acquired it. - National Park Service
Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
10. Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Ranch Cabin
During Roosevelt's presidency, the Maltese Cross cabin was exhibited at the World's Fair in St. Louis, MO and at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, OR. Later it was moved to the state fair grounds in Fargo, ND and then eventually to the state capitol grounds in Bismarck where it remained for 50 years. In 1959, the cabin was relocated to its present site and renovated. The most recent preservation work occurred in 2000. - National Park Service
Inside TR's Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
11. Inside TR's Cabin
Theodore Roosevelt Slept Here image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
12. Theodore Roosevelt Slept Here
Theodore Roosevelt image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 9, 2015
13. Theodore Roosevelt
This 1967 portrait of Theodore Roosevelt by Adrian Lamb after Philip de Lászlo's 1908 original hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“No one ever craved the presidency more than Theodore Roosevelt or used its powers more joyously. In early 1901, however, his rise toward that office was suddenly checked. Having gained national prominence as a civil service reformer, Spanish-American War hero, and reform-minded governor of New York, he was now relegated to being William McKinley's vice president. But McKinley's assassination several months later changed everything, and Roosevelt was soon rushing headlong into one of American history's most productive presidencies. By the time he left office in 1909, his accomplishments ranged from implementing landmark efforts to conserve the nation's disappearing natural heritage, to instituting some of the first significant curbs on the excesses of big business, to building the Panama Canal.

When Hungarian-born English artist Philip de Lászlo painted the original version of this portrait, he encouraged Roosevelt to have visitors chat with him during the sittings, apparently thinking that it made for a more animated likeness.” — National Portrait Gallery
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on .   7, 8, 9. submitted on .   10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   13. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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