The Roundup -

History Alive! Featuring Marquise De Morès At The Chateau


Medora, the Marquise de Morès

MEDORA - Medora, the Marquise de Morès, returns to the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site June 13-14. This History Alive! program focuses on Madame de Morès's return to Medora in 1903, her last visit to the summer home she had shared with her husband. Visitors will catch Madame in a brief retrospective on her time in western Dakota as well as life following her return to France. Audience members will catch a glimpse of the romance of meeting the Marquis, her passion for hunting, and the tragic death of her beloved Morès.

The Marquise's performances will be at 10:30 a.m., 1:30, and 3:30 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. The free program is sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Madame de Mores was the wife of the Marquis de Mores, who attempted, in the 1880s, to build a beef empire in Dakota Territory. Karen Nelson portrays the Marquise and says, "It's pure enjoyment, sharing a grand love story like this. Watching audiences get caught up in her life is always a high point of the performance!" Nelson spends her weekdays working at the Museum Store in the Chateau Interpretive Center.

As the Marquise de Morès, Nelson wears period clothing based on a 1903 photograph of Medora standing on the corner of the chateau veranda. The outfit, designed and sewn by Michael Stevenson of Dickinson, is based on clothing from the de Mores family in the State Historical Society of North Dakota collections.

Madame de Morès's stay at the Chateau in 1903 came 17 years after the Marquis left the town of Medora, his beef empire in ruins. In a 1903 interview with a Dickinson newspaper reporter, Medora states that she returned so that her children could "see the place where they have lived so long ... I loved Medora, I love it still, and [it] will be very dear to my memory. I will not let Medora die until after I do. I can't tell just what I will do, but I must see the old ranch."

History Alive! programs explore past lives and times by combining theater arts with historical research. The 20-minutemonologues use material from original letters, diaries, and other documents, many from the State Archives of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

For more information, contact the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site at 701.623.4355 or the State Historical Society of North Dakota at 701.328.2666, or visit the agency web site at


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