The Medora Musical – 50 years of Summer Entertainment


Medora, North Dakota

In 1883, a young French nobleman, the Marquis de Mores, with the help of family money founded a town on the Little Missouri River. Named after the Marquis’ wife, the town of Medora consisted of a meat packing plant, hotel, some stores and a large residence for him and his wife. In only a few years, the Marquis’ businesses ended in failure, but the town survived. 

Medora-3The town, and it’s surroundings of some of the most beautiful country in the nation, attracted many visitors. One in particular who, at the age of 42, would become the youngest President of the United States at the time of his election credits his time in North Dakota for his success. However this post is not about President Theodore Roosevelt, or about the town of Medora. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Medora Musical, a summer event that attracts thousands of visitors to the area every summer.

Medora-2The musical had its beginnings in 1958, but was reborn in 1965 with the financial support of Harold Schafer, an entrepreneur from Bismarck. Over the years the amphitheater Mr. Schafer built has been reconstructed, reoriented and enlarged to support the large number of visitors attending nightly from June to September each year.

Medora-6Show up early to the Burning Hills Amphitheater to be treated so some beautiful scenery, and if you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of some wildlife along the ridge that separates the amphitheater from the surrounding countryside. Just prior to this summer excursion, I purchased a new lens, a Tamron 16-300 mm zoom. It enabled me to capture these two bull elk at 300 mm full zoom. To give you an idea of the range of this lens, the photo immediately above the elk photo was taken at 26 mm. In a future post, after I’ve had a chance to experiment more with the lens, I will post a review. So far, I’m happy I made the investment.


The late afternoon hour before the show starts provides great lighting for the scenery around the site. Before you know it, they will open the gates and people will start walking or riding the escalator down to the seating area. The musical runs through September 12, this year and tickets are reasonably priced for a show of this quality. I submit for your approval, a small gallery of images taken during our visit. Click on any image to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner





2 thoughts on “The Medora Musical – 50 years of Summer Entertainment

  1. I was at Medora when I was 13 yrs old I was so impressed with the beauty of the total area The Rocky Mts are only thing that has impressed me more.

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