Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Rough Riders Hotel
George Fitzgerald’s success operating the Hotel de Mores was such that in November 1884 he began work on his own 35-feet by 80 feet two-story hotel. Brick veneer was planned but was never added.
The Bad Lands Cow Boy described its interior as follows: “On the first flor are a bar room, office and dining room as well as small rooms for wash and baggage. Above are sixteen sleeping rooms and a parlor.”
Fitzgerald opened the Metropolitan Hotel in February 1885. In October, he leased the place to J.B. Walker but within months it was back in its builder’s hands. Fitzgerald saw Medora’s decline and approached the Marquis for a $3,000 loan for improvements on the building, which served as security.
The money in hand, Fitzgerald took the first train west to Seattle, and left de Mores with a second hotel. When de Mores was forced to curtail his business activities in 1886, the Metropolitan Hotel closed.
In 1901, J.J. Rozell reopened the hotel under its original name. Soon after, he renamed it the Rough Riders Hotel, a tribute to former Medora ranchers and the men President Theodore Roosevelt led in the Spanish-American War. It continued in operation under a succession of owners until 1961, closing only briefly during World War II.
Harold Schafer purchased the building, which was disassembled.
(Marker Number 24.)
Location. 46° 54.89′ N, 103° 31.442′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is on 3rd Avenue near 3rd Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. 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. Medora Business District (within shouting distance of this marker); Medora Livery Stable (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Mary’s Catholic Church (about 300 feet away); De Mores (about 400 feet away); The President Returns (about 400 feet away); Roberts Hall (about 400 feet away); Medora Town Hall (about 400 feet away); Medora Education (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Medora.
More about this marker. A photograph of the Rough Riders Hotel appears at the bottom of the marker. Two additional photos at the top of the marker have captions of “The Rough Riders Hotel was a place for public meetings and discussions. The tradition continues today.” And “Local residents, cowboys and guests often gathered at the Rough Riders Hotel.”
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 228 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.