Life size statue of Theodore Roosevelt stands in downtown Medora

Oct 30, 2017

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A new, life-size statue of Theodore Roosevelt now resides in downtown Medora.

It’s just outside the Old Town Hall Theater. It portrays Roosevelt as the leader of the Rough Riders, the volunteer regiment he led in battle during the Spanish-American War. It’s 5-feet-9-inches, and it’s at ground level.

Former Gov. Ed Schafer speaks at the dedication ceremony for the new Theodore Roosevelt Statue in Medora.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Former Gov. Ed Schafer spoke at he unveiling ceremony. His father, Harold Schafer, had the vision to keep Medora as an historic town and tourist destination.

"We place this aty in the spot where TR stood, when he returned to his beloved Medora as a candidate for Vice-President," Schafer said. "It's right here where he gave a speech to the people of this community, his old friends. he proclaimed, 'It was here where the romance of my life began.'"

The bronze statue was sculpted by John Lopez of Lemmon, South Dakota.

"It's part of what we do," said Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation marketing and communications director Justin Fisk. "It's why we're here."

Fisk said it is a worthwhile addition to Medora.

"You can go to Mount Rushmore and see a larger-than-life Teddy," Fisk said. "That's how most people know him. Now you can come to Medora, and be in the place where he healed his soul and became a Rough Rider."

Fisk said you can get a feel for the man ,and for the place that inspired him.

"That's the impact that we aspire to have in Medora, with the statue and many other things that we do."