Posts tagged Medora ND

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!

Named for Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite game, we’re creating a brand new place for families to enjoy the Badlands together—a perfect downtown Medora destination for adventurers of all ages.

The Park will have a combination of free and ticketed attractions, including all-new mini golf, Medora’s own “slant house,” a zero-entry pool and 400 foot long lazy river, a community splash pad, a kid-friendly “jump pillow,” and shade structures. And, what is sure to become one of Medora’s main attractions, a Badlands Zipline Ride.

We’ve been talking about a Medora Zipline ever since a few of the participants in our 2007 TRMF sponsored Panama Canal cruise tried one, on one of our cruise stops. We thought the North Dakota Badlands would be a perfect place for such an attraction. So here we go! The Zipline will run up and down the big butte behind the Badlands Motel.

The Point to Point Park will tuck in between the motel and the existing Children’s Park, as well as in the big vacant space beside the motel. It will be the first thing families see when they arrive in town, and for many it will be the first stop on their Medora adventure.

It’s the newest in a series of major investments in Medora to enhance and expand the experience our visitors and guests have.

The idea and concept is driven in large part by the longheld awareness of the need to create attractions and attractors for what we have come to call the “missing middle,” young people in their teens and their families. The new park is just the attraction young families and grandparents have been waiting for.

This park will also encourage the “more adventurous” members of the family to experience the picturesque buttes by taking a marked climbing route to the top of the Badlands overlooking Historic Medora, where they’ll find native geology and vegetation, and the park may one day showcase the remarkable personalities of Medora through statues or other historic preservation ideas.

It will also offer the community and its visitors nearly 100 new paved parking spaces. Although geared toward a younger crowd, the entire experience will be enjoyed and utilized by young and old.

It will be a place to socialize, to relax, to exercise and simply play together, surrounded by the beauty of the Badlands and the history of Medora.

As with our other major projects, we’re seeking sponsors for this new attraction. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Joslyn Tooz, our Major Gifts Officer at: 701-223-4800, or e-mail her at joslynt@medora.com

To read the rest of the Spring 2019 Newsletter follow this link.

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.”

Her first professional job in music materialized after enlisting in the United States Air Force.

“My position as a vocalist with The Strategic Air Command Band was my first full-time singing job. I was just out of college and I never dreamed that I would become a veteran of The Desert Band, performing for the troops in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was an incredible honor and my training in the SAC Band critically developed the musical, professional, and disciplinary skills I have to this day. I couldn’t have had better training,” Emily says.

Fast forward to the early 1990s, when Emily wowed fans of the Medora Musical as a Burning Hills Singer best known for crooning Patsy Cline tunes each night under a starry Western sky.

Emily Walter is third from the left.

“I sang my first Patsy Cline song on the Burning Hills Amphitheatre stage in 1993. It was ‘Sweet Dreams.’ The response was so overwhelming that the following year, the producer gave me a choice between ‘Crazy’ and ‘She’s Got You.’ I chose the latter,” Emily recalls.

Those successful summers singing Patsy Cline in Medora led to something bigger that holds a major place on Emily’s resume — the Patsy Cline estate named her one of the few entertainers approved to portray Patsy Cline, leading to performance tours across the country and internationally. She continued to perform in a variety of genres and locations, adhering to her personal formula for success: hard work, dedication to her craft, and willingness to travel.

SHE CAME HOME TO NORTH DAKOTA

Emily returned to Medora in 2010 to host the Medora Musical, and the character she portrayed that year soon became a part of her identity for years to come.

“When I returned to Medora nearly two decades after my time as a Burning Hills singer, the producer Curt Wollan and I were talking about me taking the host position in the Medora Musical, and he popped out with, ‘Emily Walter; Queen of the West!’ I loved it from that very moment,” Emily says.

Emily’s “Queen of the West” character combined the elegance of a pageant queen — complete with tiara-clad cowgirl hat and sequined gowns — with the strength of an Air Force veteran and the voice of a Broadway star. Little girls attending the Medora Musical soon started buying and wearing pink cowgirl hats with tiaras, becoming Queens of the West in their own right. 
“That was my favorite tie to the show…seeing a child walking downtown in their ‘Queen of the West’ hat! I can’t tell you how many photos were taken in those hats. Sometimes they would show up with one they’d had for five years, and it looked so loved,” Emily says.

HER OWN LOVE STORY

And at the current point in her incredible journey, Emily has found herself planting deeper roots in Medora, explaining: “I fell in love with Medora in 1993. I fell in love in Medora in 2011.”

Of her own Medora love story, Emily puts it simply.

“I enjoyed (the traveling performer) life very much, and it enabled me to see the entire world doing what I loved, but when I met Rolf (Sletten) in 2011, I was ready to slow down. The result was that I truly ‘came home to Medora,’” Emily says.

Rolf Sletten was the Bully Spirit Award winner for 2019 – this is the highest honor the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation awards.

After hosting the Medora Musical for several seasons, Emily took on new challenges as part of the Medora team — helping launch and grow Medora’s popular Gospel Brunch and the Magical Medora Christmas Tour. 
In addition to these popular Medora productions, Emily continues to pursue other favorite projects including Patsy Cline and Karen Carpenter Tribute shows and performances with the Bismarck/Mandan and Bemidji (Minnesota) Symphony Orchestras.

Whatever musical project she is dedicated to, and wherever travels with Rolf take her, Emily continues to embody the Queen of West role. 
“It’s just me, that Queen of the West persona,” Emily says. “Me, with close ties to the town, the music, the people, the history, and the legacy that Harold and Sheila Schafer built. Rolf wrote two books about Medora and Theodore Roosevelt. This stunning place is deeply embedded in both of us and it’s great to share that passion together.”


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!

READ MORE »

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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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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Bismarck to the Badlands: A Roadtrip to Remember

Hi, hello, and how do you do! 

I’m Kaelee, this is my copilot Jada and we are taking you on a trip to all of the must-sees and dos between Bismarck and Medora.

 

I have the map if you have the snacks, so let’s get going!  READ MORE »

Women of Medora: Joslyn Reichert

 

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.

 

Joslyn Reichert, an Inspiring Woman

Life sometimes has a funny way of putting the right opportunity in front of you at just the right time.

Dickinson native Joslyn Reichert had built a career in the food and beverage industry, attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, holding various chef positions on the west coast, and then transitioning to food and beverage management roles at mountain resorts in Wyoming and Montana.

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Women of Medora: Sheila Schafer

 

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.

 

ELEVATE conference is coming to Medora, and we couldn’t be more excited! Medora’s past is weaved with the stories and presence of so many strong women and we cannot wait to help celebrate that! The most prominent lady of Medora, Sheila Schafer, is the perfect women to feature for the conference. Learn about her story…

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Inspired Women Magazine to host Elevate Conference in Medora Sept. 6 & 7

 

 

 

 

 

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