Get to Know Your TRMFamily

Meet Annual Personal Members, Char and Duey Marthaller

With over 1,200 Annual Personal and Business Members, the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation is a large family. So large that many of you may have never met another Annual Member.

As a “family that values family”, we can’t let this stand! Which is why we invite you to sit down and get to know Char and Duey Marthaller of Mandan, ND.

Besides being Annual Members since 2012, Char and Duey have shared their wood working talents on a number of Medora projects. Most recently they refurbished the Sheila Schafer Wishing Well in 2017 (pictured above).

Their passion for Medora inspires our staff of over 350 each and every summer. Get to know this wonderful couple below.

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Theodore Roosevelt Dakota Datebook Podcasts

We at the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation are proud to support the independently-produced Dakota Datebook segments done in cooperation by Prairie Public Broadcasting, TR Repriser and historian, Steve Stark, and the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most influential and iconic Presidents in the history of the United States — and he believed that he would not have reached the heights he did, had it not been for his time here, in the Badlands of North Dakota.

Enjoy these weekly podcast installments shared with permission from our friends at Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Roosevelt Whistle Stops
in North Dakota

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 11, 2019

It was early April of 1903 when North Dakota welcomed the second sitting U.S. president to visit the state. The first, Rutherford B. Hayes, famously toured the giant Dalrymple farm, the first of the famous Bonanza Farms of the Red River Valley – the largest wheat operations in the world.

Theodore Roosevelt, North Dakota’s adopted son, was the second; and the two-day trip through Dakota’s plains was a homecoming for him.

Listen to episode 14

Theodore Roosevelt
and the Great War

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 3, 2019

On this date in 1917, the United States was on the verge of declaring war on Germany – an action that Theodore Roosevelt vigorously supported. He had made his blistering antagonism toward Woodrow Wilson’s former neutrality abundantly public.

Listen to episode 13

Boat Thieves

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 25, 2019

On this date in 1886, Theodore Roosevelt was preparing to set out in pursuit of three men who stole his boat on the Little Missouri near his Elkhorn Ranch. His friends Will Dow and Bill Sewall quickly built a pursuit boat, and the following day, the trio of began the chase. It took days of trudging through the rugged and bitter weather of the frigid river valley, but the flinty cattlemen finally caught up with the three boat thieves, and they were soon headed home with the bad guys in tow. Leaving Sewell and Dow behind, TR enlisted a stranger to drive his wagon as he took the culprits to Dickinson.

Listen to episode 12

Weasel Words

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 19, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt extolled the American West throughout his life, influenced by his adventures with the people of the West, from Dakota Territory’s Little Missouri River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

He was never shy talking about the ethical standards he adhered to and strove to uphold in his personal, public and private life. He called out with pride the people he met in the West as being “average citizens of the right type.”

Listen to episode 11

Pelican Island Refuge

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 11, 2019

This week in March of 1903, President Roosevelt created America’s first federal bird refuge. Pelican Island, Florida had long been a favorite haven for beautiful shore and wading birds where mangroves hugged the waters of the small island. Pelicans, peafowls, flamingos and spoonbills adorned the beach.

Listen to episode 10

Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 4, 2019

March 4th was Inauguration Day in the early 20th century, and on this date in 1901 Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as Vice President under William McKinley. Tragically, McKinley was shot six months into his second term and died eight days later. The stunned 42-year-old TR was sworn into office, becoming the youngest president in US history.

Listen to episode 9

United States Forest Service

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 1, 2019

People often imagine that Theodore Roosevelt started the National Park system, but it actually began much sooner. On this date in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law.

However, Roosevelt did create five national parks doubling the number, and he’s known as the “Conservation President.” He protected over 230 million acres of public land, setting aside 150 national forests, the five national parks, America’s first 18 national monuments, the first 51 federal bird refuges, and our first game preserves.

Listen to episode 8

Washington’s Birthday

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC  FEB 19, 2019

Yesterday, on President’s Day, we celebrated the February birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The observance often recalls the apocryphal cherry tree story of youngster Washington proclaiming “I cannot tell a lie.”

Listen to episode 7

Death of Alice and Mittie

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC FEB 13, 2019

24-year-old Theodore Roosevelt suffered a sorrow of volcanic proportions in February of 1884. Responding to an urgent cable from his brother, TR hastened from Albany to New York City where his wife Alice lived with his mother, Mittie.  Alice was in a dangerous state of health after giving birth to their first child. In another room, Mittie was on the threshold of death from Bright’s Disease.

Listen to episode 6

Roosevelt and Lincoln

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC Feb 7, 2019

President Abraham Lincoln was a friend with Theodore Roosevelt’s parents. As a youngster at his grandfather’s house, young six-year-old “Teedie” (as he was called), witnessed Lincoln’s coffin procession along New York City’s Broadway.

Lincoln was TR’s presidential hero. Fittingly, these two venerated chief executives earned their destiny to be memorialized in stone, side by side on Mount Rushmore, representing two presidents unified in character and moral leadership.

Listen to episode 5

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2019 Medora Musical Auditions!

Auditions are coming up at the end of January, don’t miss your chance to star in the Greatest Show in the West, the Medora Musical! Performed live and outside 100 nights in a row this western musical complete with history, live animals, fireworks, and some good ‘ol downhome country music is a show unlike any other!

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The Greatest Optimist I Have Ever Met

(Continuing with our peek into the correspondence files between Harold and Antoine “Tony” de Vallombrosa, grandson of the Marquis and Medora de Mores, after Harold had purchased the Marquis family’s holdings in Medora. Here’s an exchange of letters from 1963. Try to imagine Harold onstage as Teddy Roosevelt!)

February 24, 1963

Dear Friend Harold,

I cannot let the New Year in without sending you my best wishes as my past year’s trip to Bismarck and Medora was for me one of the highlights of 1962—it was greatly so thanks to you and your understanding.

Here I am thousands of miles away and yet frequently I think of you as the greatest optimist I have ever met. This was confirmed by reading very completely the 20th anniversary Gold Seal Report. (Harold had mailed Tony a copy of his company’s full-color 20th anniversary report.)

So whenever I feel depressed and need a good example I think to myself all I need is a little more will power.

I have been exercising plenty to get back in shape but the going is still rough—circulatory problems and varicose veins are difficult to eliminate.

I hope you are in good shape. I enjoyed visiting your horse ranch and your hospitality. I was sorry not to see your New York associates and expect to reach them next time. Knowing you are obviously continuously coming with new ideas and making constructive use of them, I would very much appreciate hearing more about your fabulous Gold Seal Co. Also if any major activities around Medora and the Badlands are being considered I would enjoy keeping up with what is going on. Hoping this long letter is not boring you. I feel again sorry not to have been able to personally thank all the very kind people I met in Bismarck.

Very sincerely,
Antoine de Vallombrosa

June 13, 1963

Dear Friend Antoine,

I was in Medora and worked all day Monday this week. Among other things I find out that I own the original little home your grandfather lived in before he built the chateau. We got to checking and it has the old square nails on the siding and is still standing exactly where it was, on the north side of the Rough Riders Hotel. I am thinking of ripping off a few lean-to sheds that have been built on it and preserving it as a historical unit. (Note: eventually this building became the little white Bake Shop, which sat beside the old Rough Riders Hotel for many years, and has now been converted to a guest house just down the street to the south of the Hotel.)

The drama, Teddy Roosevelt’s Life in North Dakota, is starting the 26th of June in the Burning Hills Amphitheater. Please keep in mind our past conversation and some summer when you have nothing to do and want a little excitement, spend a few weeks with me in Medora – you play the part of your grandfather and I’ll play the part of Teddy Roosevelt, or one of the cattle rustlers – I think it would be fun. I gave your name to Mr. and Mrs. Andre Richard who plan to visit in France in the next week or two. Andre is the manager of our Andre Richard Division of the Gold Seal Company in New York City. If they happen to be anywhere near you, they may give you a call.


Sincerely yours,
Harold Schafer

Women of Medora: Candice Lively

 

Originally published in Inspired Women Magazine.

 

Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora.

 

Candice Lively Wollen, an Inspiring Woman

Candice Lively Wollan may be a Tennessee girl at heart, but North Dakotans have warmly claimed her as one of their own since she began performing as a Burning Hills Singer in the Medora Musical in 2009. (In fact, when the Musical rolled out a newly penned song about North Dakota in 2011, Candice was chosen to sing the ballad night after night—if every single North Dakotan who heard her sing “Always North Dakota” didn’t get a little choked up and want to invite her home for a hotdish dinner, then I don’t know what’s wrong with them…)

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Shooting of Riley Luffsey

Shooting of Riley Luffsey

This is an expert from local Medora author, Rolff Sletten’s book, Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection. It goes into detail on the shooting of Cowboy, Riley Luffsey. Read More »

A Magical Medora Christmas Tour Coming to 24 Communities Across the Region

Show returns for the fourth season, tickets on sale now

Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation announced today the return of fan-favorite show, A Magical Medora Christmas! This year the show will travel to four states performing 30 shows in 24 communities. A Magical Medora Christmas features past and present stars of the Medora Musical. Starring in this year’s tour is former host of the Medora Musical and “Queen of the West”, Emily Walter, Broadway stars Jared Mason, and Job Christenson, musician Chad Willow, and the host of the show, Bill Sorensen bringing the spirit of Christmas to audiences through his gift of humor, magic and love. Read More »

Big news from Medora, North Dakota…Teddy Rides Again!

Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation announces Joe Wiegand to return as Theodore Roosevelt for 2019 through 2021 seasons.

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Three weeks of Christmas Events in Medora

Christmas is our favorite holiday!

There’s a ton of fun fall activities in Medora right now, including our upcoming Wild West Fright Fest and more!

But we love Christmas so much that we’re jumping ahead to announce that we’re having three week’s worth of events this Holiday season.

It starts with A Magical Medora Christmas

Touring November 24 – December 22 | Plus Christmas Stay & Play Packages for the Medora stop of the tour

More than 30 shows in 24 communities plus an exclusive Magical Medora Christmas weekend when the tour comes to Medora on November 30 and December 1. Tickets go on sale October 15!

Tour schedule, ticket and package info here.

Medora’s Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas

December 7 – 9

Live music with a community dinner, eats on the streets, a veteran’s event and more!

Learn more about how we plan to celebrate Christmas western-style here.

Bold St. Nicks’s Winter Fatbike Race

December 15

Be bold and brave the cold during the coolest mountain bike race this side of the Little Missouri River!

The creators of the famous Maah Daah Hey 100 bring you this winter fatbiking event in heart of the winter Badlands — and, oh yeah, there’s a race for those of you on Naughty and the Nice List.

Learn more about the Bold St. Nick’s Winter Fatbike Race here.

Women of Medora: Kathy Solga

 

Originally published in Inspired Women Magazine.

 

Women of Medora features inspiring women who have made an impact on the world through their time living and working in Medora.

 

Kathy Solga, an Inspiring Woman

If you stop out at Medora’s Bully Pulpit Golf Course on a September afternoon, you’ll notice a few things.

First, the summer tourist season doesn’t appear to be over in the least, with a full parking lot, bustling pro shop, and shiny, scoria-colored golf carts zipping around almost every breathtaking hole. (While the famed Medora Musical wraps up the second weekend of September, Bully Pulpit keeps hosting golfers until late October, or until the snow flies—whichever comes first.)

Second, if you’re looking for golf shop manager Kathy Solga, you may have to get in line, as it seems just about everyone on the course knows her and wants to give her a warm hello. But don’t worry—not only will she be happy to take time to visit, she’ll make you feel like you are the only person in the room.

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