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Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today we visited Chateau de Mores State Historic Site which is comprised of three separate parts: The Chateau de Mores, Chimney Park and de Mores Memorial Park. The town of Medora was named for his wife who was the daughter of wealthy New York banker . The Marquis' was a French aristocrat who came to Dakota Territory in 1883 to find fortune in the cattle industry. He started a meat-packing plant which collapsed in 1886 along with his commercial empire.

Here are old pictures of the Marquis' and his wife Medora:

The Marquis’ most striking legacy is the rustic but aristocratic 26-room home that his neighbors dubbed "the chateau." overlooking his town and enterprises. Rich furnishings, oriental carpets, and fine accoutrements accommodated the family and their wealthy guests, including Theodore Roosevelt. The couple’s two children, Athenais, and Louis, as well as nurses, maids, and other domestic help, accompanied them to Medora. For three years the family occupied the home seasonally, returning to New York during the winters. Among their pastimes were hunting, music, and art. The house and everything in it is from the de Mores family during that period of time. The oldest son Louis sold the estate to the state of North Dakota for one dollar in 1936. He wanted his familty legacy to be remembered.

The ruins of the Marquis’s meat-packing plant is called Chimney Park. The packing plant was part of the Marquis’s most ambitious project. When the Marquis left Medora in 1886, the plant was abandoned. The building burned in 1907. The tall, native-brick chimney still stands in silent tribute to this early attempt to capitalize on the meat-packing business. Here is an old picture of the meat packing plant and the ruins of it.

The de Mores family built houses, businesses, and a Catholic church in the town of Medora which today is basically a tourist hot spot. The Marquis’s had many enterprises included cattle ranches, sheep ranches, and the Medora-Deadwood Stagecoach line.

It appears our Marquis was really into wine. These bottles were found in a small wine cellar... My kind of MAN!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Oh how awesome! I am such a big history buff!!!!



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