Theodore Roosevelt before American Flag

Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of the United States

A Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt National Park has been in the works since shortly after Theodore Roosevelt’s death in 1919.   The state of North Dakota set aside land for such a memorial in 1924 and by the following year land, 2,030 square miles was chosen for the project.  

Men standing in road bed at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

CCC Road Construction
Portions of today’s scenic roads in Theodore Roosevelt National Park were built by the CCC. Photo: public domain, National Park Service

Men building east entrance from stone

East Entrance Station Construction
A boy leans on the stone wall while a CCC laborer works inside the East Entrance Station. Photo: public domain, National Park Service

Civil Conservation Corps

Many changes of ownership occurred with the involvement of  state and federal government entities.  A first step was the formation of the Roosevelt Memorial National Park Association (later, the Great North Dakota Association).  The Roosevelt Regional Park Project ushered in the CCC (Civil Conservation Corp)  in the mid 1930’s.  Along with the efforts of the Works Projects Administration (WPA) and Emergency Relief Administration (ERA) many of the roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, and buildings which we use today were constructed.  

Old East Entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, 1949

Colored linen postcard of the east entrance of the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, dedicated June 4, 1949

 

Officially a National Memorial Park

In 1947 Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park was officially created.  It included the present day South Unit as well as the Elkhorn Ranch.   The North Unit became official on June 12, 1948.  A formal dedication of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park took place on June 4, 1949.  

black and white photo of billboard for dedication ceremonies of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. June 4, 2019

Cars drive into east entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park

Cars Entering the East Entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. June 4, 1949 Photo: public domain, National Park Service

color photo of crowd at 1949 dedication of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park

Crowd Gathers at the Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, North Dakota. June 4, 1949.  Photo: public domain, National Park Service

1950's car driving gravel road in Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park

1950’s Cruise Through Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. Photo: public domain

Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park

A stage and a formal pageant were part of the dedication ceremonies at the East Entrance on June 4, 1949.

Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial National Park, June 4, 1949 Page One

Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial National Park, June 4, 1949 Page Two

Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial National Park, June 4, 1949 Page Three

Dedication of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial National Park, June 4, 1949 Page Four

Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park  1949 

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Brochure 1949

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Brochure 1949 Page One

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Brochure 1949. Page Two

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Brochure 1949. Page Three

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Brochure 1949. Page 4 Maps

 

A National Park in 1978

President Carter signed Public Law 95-625 on November 10, 1978, and the area was given national park status.  It then became, as we know it today, Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  A formal dedication was held August 11, 1978.

East Entrance 

With the construction of Interstate 94, which replaced Old Highway 10 in the early 1960’s, the main entrance to the park was moved to Medora.  The East Entrance is no longer used. Read about that change here: Then and Now

Throwback Thursday Beautiful Badlands ND East Entrance TRNP

From about 1960, cars line up just off of old Highway 10, northeast of Medora. (Photo: public domain, National Park Service)

Throwback Thursday Beautiful Badlands ND East Entrance TRNP

We sat on top of a hill that old Highway 10, the Old Red Trail had once wrapped around to take traffic past the park.

East Entrance Theodore Roosevelt National Park

April 1, 2018, East Entrance to South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Flag pole and outside monument are gone. Hills have changed a bit.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Map  2019 

Park access and amenities have changed considerably since the park dedication in 1949!

National Park Print Map Theodore Roosevelt National Park 2019

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Map 2019    Courtesy National Park Service

Map from brochure of Theodore Roosevelt National Park 2019

Theodore Roosevelt National Park 2019

You’ll find concise history and historical documents concerning the park and Theodore Roosevelt at the Theodore Roosevelt Center in Dickinson, North Dakota.  

Hike to the Old East Entrance:  The Prairie Dogs Like This Place!

There is a special quiet feeling at Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch.  Find it here:  A Peaceful Place for Refuge and Solitude

It can get WILD out there!  Get Your Camera Ready!

What’s Going On In The Badlands?   A LOT!  Find out here:  There’s So Much To Do! 

The Beauty of the Badlands is never ending!  See, and purchase, photos here:  The Beauty Goes on Forever!

 

Beauty from the Heart of the Badlands, a photo exhibit from the heart. Long X Trading Post Visitor Center & Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County, North Dakota

Beauty from the Heart of the Badlands, a photo exhibit from the heart. Long X Trading Post Visitor Center & Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County, North Dakota

 

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