“Bully!” for North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation sees passage of Presidential Library funding as next great moment in history for the state


(MEDORA, ND) – In the early 1950s, Harold Schafer peered over the edge of the butte overlooking the tiny village of Medora and proclaimed, “There’s too much here to let disappear.” His son, Ed, standing by his side, took in the broken-down, old cow town with dirt streets and a ramshackle hotel named for Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and thought to himself, “But—there’s nothing there!”    

Yet, this was the moment that North Dakota’s tourism industry was born.

Harold saw an opportunity to create something wonderful for generations to come. He didn’t have an eminently-detailed plan that considered every possible scenario, or a multi-page budget document projecting every income and expense, but he knew the legend of Theodore Roosevelt translated across the globe and that his ‘Bully Spirit’ could inspire millions.

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Meet the cast of this year’s Medora Musical!

Hosts Chet Wollen and Bill Sorensen to lead star-studded Medora Musical cast made up of returning talent, new performers, and several North Dakota natives!

Each year thousands of performers audition at locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Florida to find the best talent for the Medora Musical. So let’s meet the cast!


The 2019 Medora Musical, Hosts


Chet Wollan, a Medora favorite is back to host the Medora Musical. Chet (pictured above) is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota but now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with Princess of the Prairie, Candice Lively Wollan. 

This will be Chet’s fourth year hosting the Medora Musical and his 13th year starring in the show. 


Bill Sorensen will return to the Medora Musical for his “final ride” co-hosting. Bill has been performing in Medora for the past 40 years as a magician, comedian, and entertainer. Don’t miss this dynamic duo together on stage this summer!

Read the full press release here about Bill Sorensen’s time in Medora, and what’s next for Wild Bill.

The Burning Hills Singers! 

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2019 Featured Variety Acts

One of your old favorites accompanied by some new stars!

Every year the Medora Musical features top-notch entertainers from around the globe to wow the crowd – this year the ‘wow factor’ will be off the charts!

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Here’s What’s Next in Medora: Point To Point Park

Originally Published in the 2019 Spring Newsletter

We’ve been looking at that big open space beside the Badlands Motel, as you first arrive in Medora, for many years, wondering “What would be the best use of that land?”

Finally, we’ve settled on an answer to that question: Welcome to Point to Point Park!

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Bill Sorensen’s Final Ride

Long-time Medora entertainer to co-host the Medora Musical for a final time

(MEDORA, ND) Bill Sorensen is a household name around Medora, and this summer, you’ll get to see him on stage at the Medora Musical one last time, co-hosting for his final season alongside a star-studded cast.

“Medora has been a place of great importance to me. I watched my daughters grow up here, I myself have grown in this place with these people, and whether I’m performing for five people of 2,000 people I am always grateful for the experience,” remarks Bill.

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Sheriff Bear Leaves Medora

Breaking News

In a twist of unforeseen events Sheriff Bear has announced his resignation from the Medora Musical. Sheriff Bear has been with the show since the early 2000 and is the longest recurring cast member to date.

Sheriff Bear being poked fun at by current Medora Musical host Chet Wollen.


Official Sheriff Bear translator, Ken Quiricone says that Sheriff Bear says, “After being passed up over and over for host of the Medora Musical and as a member of the clog I have decided to follow my dreams elsewhere.”

Sheriff Bear is heading to New York City to pursue his dreams of performing ballet and continuing his sheriff background as a horse mounted officer in Central Park.

Published April 1st – the most foolish day of them all!

Women of Medora: Emily Walter

This article was originally posted in Inspired Women Magazine and was written by Stephanie Fong.

Emily Walter has spent a three-decade career traveling the world as a professional vocalist and actor. She’s served as a singer in the U.S. Air Force Band, entertained in shows on cruise ships, and —among many other things — has personified the title of Medora’s “Queen of the West.”

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Interview with TRMF Business Member, Railway Credit Union

We sat down with Railway Credit Union President, Paul Brucker to get his thoughts on what Medora has done for his company, creating a workplace people want to work at, and what he learned from his parents.

Paul Brucker, President of Railway Credit Union


Paul, why join the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Business Membership Program?

Being a patriotic ND based business, Railway Credit Union (RCU) initially joined the TR Medora Foundation because it seemed like the right thing to do.

It was not until later that we realized the benefits that the membership provided to our credit union members, staff, and volunteers.

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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.

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