Cellpic Sunday – 28 February 2021

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

The South Unit of the park is by far the most popular of the three units. Last week’s Cellpic Sunday featured a view of the North Unit. We didn’t make the trip through to the third park unit, Elkhorn Ranch, as that part of the park is undeveloped and only available to those with 4-wheel drive vehicles probably meant more for off-roading than anything else. The largest section of the park, the South Unit entrance is located on the main street of the city of Medora.

One of the first things a visitor can see is just outside the park’s visitor center doors. Officially known as the Maltese Cross Cabin, the original site of this cabin was about seven miles (11 km) south of Medora on the Chimney Butte Ranch. Theodore Roosevelt had ranchhands build the cabin after Roosevelt bought the ranch, cattle, and brand, an eight-pointed Maltese Cross.

After Roosevelt sold his interest in North Dakota properties, the cabin was moved to Missouri for the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. From there, it was moved to Portland, Oregon for the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, before it was returned to North Dakota. It spent time in Fargo before finally being moved to its current home in Roosevelt’s namesake national park.

About the photo: Stepping out of the back door of the visitor center, you will find a sidewalk that leads a short distance to the cabin. This snapshot was processed in Adobe Lightroom with final processing completed in Luminar 4. As I have often noted, click on the image, and if your browser supports it, you’ll get a better view of the image.

John Steiner


  1. The idea of moving a whole cabin around, and so often, has me baffled, John. Do they break it up and rebuild it every time using the same materials?

    However it was achieved, the cabin has a lovely setting!

    • The cabin is quite small. I think they probably moved it whole as they might move a house today. I wondered that myself as they didn’t have giant house-moving vehicles in those days.

      • That’s correct. There are companies who are in the business of house moving. They lift the house off the foundation (after they prep the interior with supports), load them on a big flatbed trailer and move them down the highway. They even have electrical crews go along to temporarily disconnect electrical cables that cross highways if they are too low to pass underneath. It takes a lot of permits and coordination to make a house move.

    • It is indeed. Smaller inside than it looks. Definitely rustic and not what might be expected of a cabin belonging to a President-to-be. By that time, he was an up-and-coming New York politician.

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