About TR Medora Foundation
The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit organization that was formed in 1986 by our founder Harold Schafer.
The TRMF operates lodging, entertainment and recreation attractions, and provides numerous historical education opportunities in the beautiful ND badlands. Through the contributions and teamwork of a board of directors, a full time staff of approximately 40, 300+ seasonal employees , 500 + seasonal volunteers, and financial support from generous supporters from across the country, TRMF and Medora are a world class destination for guests and visitors young and old.
Our founder, Harold Schafer, was a self-made millionaire businessman and philanthropist. He purchased the Rough Riders Hotel and the Ferris Store in Historic Medora, ND in 1962 and began rebuilding them. Other renovations and improvements followed and in 1965 the Medora Division of Schafer’s Gold Seal Company and its fledgling attractions were opened to the public. A very large number of people have worked to make Medora what it is today, but clearly, it all began when Harold’s crew took the Rough Riders Hotel apart board by board and then painstakingly reassembled it.
When the Gold Seal Company was sold in 1986, the family donated the Medora assets to the newly formed Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. That decision was transformative. Harold Schafer’s legacy – his tremendous generosity – is cemented in the Foundation. He shared the joy and value of philanthropy with many people through his gift of over $12 million of Medora property and other assets to the public.
In later years, Harold would walk through the streets of Medora marveling at all that had been accomplished. Harold Schafer was a unique blend of flamboyance and humility, a successful businessman who was much more interested in giving than in accumulating. This was the beginning of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. Since then, thousands of people have continued Harold’s legacy of giving:
• There have been over 3,700 different contributors
to the Foundation.
• Total contributions since the inception of the
Foundation have exceeded $36 million.
• Over 1,300 contributors have each given $1,000
or more to the Foundation, including 75 who have
given $100,000 or more, totaling over $28 million.
• Total Foundation investments in Medora property
have been over $30 million.
“My obligation today is to see that Medora’s
greatness can be carried on after my lifetime,
that its future can be even better than the past.”
-- HAROLD SCHAFER, 1988
We connect people to Medora for positive, life-changing experiences.
PRESERVE the experience of the badlands, the historic character of Medora and the values and heritage of Theodore Roosevelt and Harold Schafer;
PRESENT opportunities for our guests to be educated and inspired through interpretive programs, museums and attractions that focus on the Old West, our patriotic heritage, and the life of Theodore Roosevelt in the badlands;
SERVE the traveling public, providing for their comfort while visiting historic Medora, the badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
We show respect for people and place.
We deliver excellence in hospitality.
We work with creativity and integrity.
We are a family who values family.
Board of Directors
Harold Schafer, Founder (1912-2001)
Ed Schafer, Chairman
Greg Tschetter, Vice Chairman
Gretchen Stenehjem, Secretary
Don Clement, Treasurer
Dr. Bill Altringer
Dr. Tracy Martin
Randy Hatzenbuhler, TRMF President
View Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation newsletters to learn more and stay up to date. See the newsletter archive here.
Make a Gift
To learn more and to make gift to the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, click here.
Become a TR Medora Foundation Member
To see membership options and to become an annual member of the TR Medora Foundation, Click here.