On 8/6/18, JoAnna, Joey and I visited “Chimney Park” in Medora, ND. Chimney Park was named after the chimney that was once part of the De Mores Meat Packing Plant.
The 1883 map of Medora shows the De Mores Meat Packing Plant as an important place:
Marquis de Mores developed and opened the plant in October of 1883. He wanted the meat packing plant to be near ranch lands and a railroad so that meat could be quickly delivered to markets in the east. He expanded the plant in 1885 to handle 150 animals a day, though no records exist to show how many were actually processed. The plant was operated under the Northern Pacific Refrigerator Car Co.
There was a central engine room with a large boiler. The boiler remains in the park, and has been cut open in several areas to show some details of the boiler. However, there is no manufacturer’s plate on the boiler.
Two Northern Pacific railroad spurs served the packing plant. One brought in live cattle and the other took away packaged meat in refrigerated railcars. This photo shows the path of the railroad spur from where the packaged meat loading dock would have been.
This photo shows where the livestock railroad spur used to run:
There were several slaughterhouses at the plant. The stone online of one of these slaughterhouses was still there.
Competition, a drop in the demand for grass-fed beef (corn-fed beef was more popular), and a murder charge against Marquis de Mores closed the plant permanently in 1886. The plant stood abandoned for many years.
On March 17, 1907, the plant burned to the ground. The cause of the fire was never found. Years later, the de Mores family donated the land to the city.
The chimney remained a prominent feature, hence the name of the park.
Thank you for reading my post.