Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The picturesque Little Missouri badlands are a unique landscape. The arrival of the railroad in 1880 opened the area to tourists who wanted to experience the western lifestyle.
The first dude ranch in America opened in 1882, four miles south of Medora. Here Howard, Willis, and Alden Eaton started the Custer Trail Ranch, entertained visitors until 1904 when they moved to Wyoming.
Other dude ranches followed: Buddy Ranch and Peaceful Valley Ranch. Peaceful Valley Ranch, located inside Theodore Roosevelt National Park, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Medora cowboys George Gardner, Bill McCarthy and Pete Pelissier provided local entertainment and traveled throughout the United States, wooing crowds with flashy antics from the cowboy culture. Gardner and McCarty rode with the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show.
Tom Mix and Miss Olive Stokes, both of Oklahoma, came to the badlands to buy horses. They were married in Medora on January 10, 1909. Later that year, Mix appeared in a western movie and was on the fast track to superstardom as Hollywood’s King of the Cowboys. A newspaper account in 1920 stated Mix was returning to the Medora badlands to make a movie, but the project never materialized.
Roping entertainer Monty Montana, champagne music maker Lawrence Welk and world boxing champion
In the autumn of 2000, a major movie, Wooly Boys, was filmed in the badlands.
(Marker Number 31.)
Location. 46° 54.764′ N, 103° 31.397′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 4th Street, on the right when traveling west on Pacific Avenue. Touch 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. American Indian Leaders (here, next to this marker); CCC Camp (here, next to this marker); Law Enforcement (within shouting distance of this marker); Billings County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Medora Education (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Margaret Roberts (about 400 feet away); Hunting and Trapping (about 400 feet away); Custer Trail (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medora.
More about this marker. A movie poster featuring Tom Mix, and another for the movie Wooly Boys appear on the marker.
Categories. • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 224 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 27, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.