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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Historic Medora—Boom and Bust

 
 
Historic Medora-Boom an Bust Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 3, 2020
1. Historic Medora-Boom an Bust Marker
Inscription.  The Marquis de Mores, a charismatic French nobleman, founded Medora in 1883. The Northern Pacific Railroad had reached the badlands only three years prior, opening the region to entrepreneurs and adventurers from the East.

For a few years the town grew and thrived while the local cattle industry flourished. The severe winter of 1886-87 killed much of the area's livestock, causing the industry, and eventually the town, to collapse.

Medora
Even during Medora's prosperous years, the town consisted of only a scattering of buildings and homes. The most notable buildings were a catholic church, a general store, a hotel, and a train depot.

De Mores Meat Packing Plant
A chimney and a few stone walls are the remnants of Medora's cornerstone operation and the Marquis' chief business venture. Shipping beef in refrigerated railcars proved profitable, but the extreme winter of 1886-87 devastated area cattle herds and put the meat packing plant out of business.

Chateau de Mores
The Marquis' 26-room hunting lodge, built in 1883, sits on a hilltop

Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 3, 2020
2. Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin
overlooking the town he named for his wife, Medora. The home was restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is now a museum.

Little Missouri
The tiny town of Little Missouri got its start around 1880 thanks to arrival of the railroad and construction of a military cantonment nearby. The town slowly dissolved after the founding of Medora on the other side of the Little Missouri River.

Modern-day Medora

Decades later, Medora would recover from the ranching bust thanks largely to the efforts of Harold Schafer, who invested his fortune to revitalize the town. Medora's thriving economy now centers around tourism.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
South Unit Visitor Center

Theodore Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin
(originally located 7 miles south)

Chimney Park
State Historical Society of North Dakota

Chateau de Mores Interpretive Center
State Historical Society of North Dakota
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location.

Chateau de Mores Interpretive Center image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 3, 2020
3. Chateau de Mores Interpretive Center
46° 55.163′ N, 103° 31.574′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is on East River Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medora ND 58645, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. On Track to Adventure (a few steps from this marker); In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dreams of a Cattle Empire (approx. ¼ mile away); Loading Dock (approx. ¼ mile away); De Mores Packing Plant (approx. ¼ mile away); Joe Ferris General Store (approx. 0.3 miles away); Great Western Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medora.
 
Chimney Park image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, August 3, 2020
4. Chimney Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 3, 2021