Marking and Repairing de Mores Packing Plant Ruins - Medora ND
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 46° 54.971 W 103° 31.740
13T E 612007 N 5196900
Quick Description: A WPA project in the late-1930s marked and repaired some of the ruins of this historic beef processing plant in Medora ND
Location: North Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 1/23/2014 1:02:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMK00Q
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 2

Long Description:
All that is left of a large beef packing and shipping enterprise built by Antoine Amédée Marie Vincent de Vallombrosa, the Marquis de Mores, in 1883 are the ruins found on this site. The plant operated from 1883-1886, then burned in 1907.

The state of North Dakota acquired the site in 1936. After the state bought this site, ND asked for a WPA project to mark and repair some of the ruins. That request was granted. WPA workers marked the corners of the remaining building foundations and made some repairs to the plant's chimney.

The ruins were added to the National Register in 1975.

For more on the packing plant, see here: (visit link)

"The De Mores Packing Plant Ruins near Medora in Billings County, North Dakota, is a historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

The packing plant was built and began operations in 1883. The plant was built by Antoine Amédée Marie Vincent de Vallombrosa, the Marquis de Morès, a pretender to the French throne, determined and resourceful, who arrived at the tiny settlement of Little Missouri, Dakota Territory, in April of 1883 for the purpose of establishing a meat packing enterprise utilizing some innovative ideas that he was convinced could revolutionize the meat producing industry." De Mores hoped to create savings by slaughtering and processing cattle close to the range, eliminating the cost of feeding and caring for the live animals during transport to larger cities to the east. De Mores intended to eliminate "the middleman" by "shipping processed beef directly from the range to the consumer."

De Mores built his operation in Medora, along the east bank of the Little Missouri River, in close proximity to the spot where the Northern Pacific Railway crossed the river. The plant had the capacity to process 150 cows per day. The facilities included a slaughter house, power house, cooper shop, fertilizer room, three ice houses, a cooling and storage building, loading platform, and holding pens.
De Mores' packing venture failed, and the facilities were closed in 1886. Some sources suggest that the severe weather conditions during the winter of 1886-1887 played a part in the demise of the facilities.

The building was destroyed by fire on March 17, 1907. The site was acquired by North Dakota's State Historical Society in 1936. As part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, markers were placed at the foundation corners of the structures, and portions of the slaughterhouse foundation and chimney were repaired. Additional repairs were made in 1970.

It is a 20 acres (8.1 ha) area with just one surviving structure and one other site. It was listed on the NRHP in 1975. The slaughterhouse chimney is the most conspicuous landmark remaining at the site."

From the National Register Nomination form, some details of the WPA project that was done here: (visit link)

"The DeMores packing plant was completed and began operation in 1883 at Medora, Dakota Territory. It was constructed near the east bank of the Little Missouri River on the west edge of the town which the Marqis de Mores also built.

When the plant facilities were completed, its processing capacity was 150 beeves per day. The abattoir was a large frame building 105 feet by 180 feet. Included in the slaughter house was a power house measuring 30 feet by 40 feet, a cooper shop 25 feet by 30 feet, and a fertilizer room 30 feet by 38 feet. Three ice houses 40 feet by 100 feet were also constructed adjacent to the plant. A cooling and storage building, loading platform and cattle holding
pens completed this plants facilities.

Closed in 1886, the de Mores packing plant was destroyed by fire March 17, 1907. All that remained when the property was acquired by the State Historical Society in 1936 were the tall; native brick chimney, sandstone and brick foundations which supported the main part of the slaughtering house, cement foundation with bolts for engine mountings in the power house, and an old boiler.

During a WPA project in the late 1930s markers were placed at
points describing the foundation corners of the various buildings included in the packing plant. Repairs were also made to the crumbled portions of the abattoir foundation and the chimney. During the summer of 1970 more repair work was done to the chimney as crumbling bricks on the structure were replaced and the top was capped."
Project type: Park structure/building (other than lodge)

Date built or created: 1938-9

Location: de Mores packing Plant Ruins

City: Medora ND

Condition: Good upkeep with a little wear and tear

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

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