• Work Begins to Recreate Teddy Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch Cabin

    October 4, 2016

    Roosevelt's conservation ideas grew from his time on Elkhorn Ranch.

    photo by: Dickinson State University

    The story of Theodore Roosevelt's self-exile to South Dakota following the loss of his wife and mother on the same day (February 14, 1884) and leading to the creation of his Elkhorn Ranch is widely known. The adventure enabled him to reconnect with nature and himself through the business he established at the site before later shutting down in 1898.

    While you can learn about this period when you visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, you currently only get a sense of what the land looked like through Teddy's eyes, but that will soon change. The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation recently asked Richard Bickel to recreate Roosevelt's cabin in Dickinson at the site of the T.R. Presidential Library and Museum.

    As The Dickinson Press reported, Bickel and his group of workers are not only recreating the building, they are limiting the use of new building techniques. Instead, they were able to learn Roosevelt's building techniques through diary entries. The news story also provides more of Bickel's background and how one of our partners in the National Treasures work, Clay Jenkinson, came up with the idea:

    When Jenkinson came up with the idea to do the cabin and do it authentically, he said everyone thought the idea was "nuts." They eventually found Bickel with help from Jim Scull, a construction firm owner and philanthropist who had previously worked with him, and the match was a perfect fit.

    "Richard turns up and he's exactly the kind of person you would look for," Jenkinson said. "If you looked through the whole world, you would want him. ... The idea that he's like the perfect human being for this project that you could never have dreamed existed and he's just turns up at the right moment, that's so gratifying."

    Learn more about the process and see pictures of Bickel's work in progress on The Dickinson Press website and on TRPresidentialLibrary.org. And, if you don't have any plans for Saturday, October 8, stop by to join in the Roosevelt Elkhorn Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. on the future site of the presidential library in Dickinson, ND.

  • Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch Hits the Radio Waves

    February 11, 2015

    The story of Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's efforts to protect this "cradle of conservation" were recently featured in a radio segment on Ultimate Outdoors Radio. This Wisconsin-based station with an audience of outdoor enthusiasts learned of the Elkhorn Ranch from viewing our CBS Sunday Morning piece with correspondent Mo Rocca. While significant to the growth and history of North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt and his Elkhorn Ranch resonate with a national audience. It is a place of great importance to our Nation's history, and it will take a Nation to protect it.

  • U.S. Forest Service Approves Elkhorn Gravel Pit at Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch

    January 9, 2015

    This week the U.S. Forest Service released its final decision to allow for the development of a 25-acre gravel pit within Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch and Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands National Register Historic District. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and several other interested stakeholders filed objections to the proposed development based on lacking compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and inadequate consideration of a range of alternatives that could provide greater consideration of adverse impacts to this national treasure. Despite these objections, the agency approved the gravel pit, the proposed location of which is within a mile of the ranch house where Theodore Roosevelt sought solace from personal tragedy and built a conservation ethic and outlook that propelled him to the presidency.

    The National Trust is disappointed that the Forest Service has approved this project and we continue to be concerned that the gravel pit will adversely affect the setting, solitude, and soundscape of the Elkhorn Ranch National Register Historic District. We will continue to work with our partners and decision-makers to ensure that this landscape, managed by the federal government for the enjoyment and appreciation of the American people, invokes the serene and naturally wild character with which our 26th President became so enamored.

All 4 updates

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