Medora Travel Guide

Looking at the statistics of Medora, North Dakota you could be forgiven for dismissing the place outright as a soda cracker infested hick town in the middle of nowhere, but the good news is this small community of a hundred or so souls is actually a place founded by French nobility and one that continues to host cultural events that assure it is one of the more popular destinations in the state.

1883 was the year the Marquis de Mores marched into town with aspirations to ship frozen meat to Chicago using the railway system. The ever-romantic Frenchman dubbed the city Medora after his wife, Medora von Hoffman. The house that frozen meat built is still standing and now used as a museum where visitors can get a feel for the town’s roots, the Chateau de Mores. The home was used as a summer residence for the Marquis and is now part of the State Historic Site of the same name. There was no contest as to property rights, the Marquis returned to Europe after his business went belly-up.

A big reason people come to Medora is the Medora Musical, a festival held nightly through the summer months. Originally staged to honor ex-president Roosevelt, the festival has since evolved the plot from telling stories about old Teddy to focus on the Wild West period of the town’s history.


Chateau de Mores: See where the French aristocrat set up camp to conquer the frozen meatpacking racket. It was a summer residence, since he retreated to France for the winter.

Medora Musical: See live performances in an amphitheatre built into the side of a cliff in Burning Gulch, newly renovated in 2005 to feature all the modern trimmings for a night of outdoor theatre.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: With the park’s South Unit bordering Medora, getting out into the badlands of North Dakota is a simple affair.