‘The Magic of Medora’ brings grandmother and grandchildren closer

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 3:04 PM CDT
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MEDORA, N.D. (KFYR) - From the musical to the pitchfork fondue, and of course the famous fudge and ice cream, Medora is a magical place.

For one Bismarck woman, it was the inspiration for a new book she wrote and illustrated, as well as to spend a little more time with her nine grandkids.

For the first time ever, Linda Donlin has all nine of her grandchildren together in her favorite place.

They’re in Medora, signing copies of their new book.

“So, in order to get all the grandkids in your favorite place, you need to write a book,” asked reporter Jody Kerzman.

“Yeah,” laughed Donlin. “I think that’s a big part of it!”

Donlin and her grandkids wrote this book together. The idea was inspired by then-eight-year-old Ava Klingfus, who visited Medora with her grandma.

“We went to everything there was to go to and we heard about the Marquis and we heard about Theodore Roosevelt. We heard about Harold Schafer, but she was confused about how they all fit together and how all of the events Medora worked and what it meant,” explained Donlin.

They searched for a book but couldn’t find one that answered all their questions. So Donlin decided to enlist help from all nine grandkids and write the book they wanted to read.

The kids were involved from the very beginning.

“I just helped research,” said Klingfus.

“We researched around Medora. We went to a bunch of museums and historic sites. I looked over some of the books before we published,” added 14-year-old Madalyn Seil.

“I used a lot of some of the ideas the grandkids had to the things that jumped out at them,” said Donlin.

The result: a 47-page illustrated book, written in the voice of Theodore Roosevelt. It covers the history of Medora, as well as the present and the future. Donlin did all the illustrations.

“I have painted a lot, but I decided to teach myself how to do pen and ink illustrations,” she said.

Every illustration was inspired by a photo Donlin took of the kids during their Medora trips.

Much to Donlin’s delight, her grandkids walked away with some valuable knowledge and a new love for Medora.

“I didn’t know that some little baby towns can do giant musicals which is pretty cool,” said Addison Seil, Donlin’s 17-year-old granddaughter.

“It’s such a small town. I didn’t know there was so much stuff packed into it,” added Madalyn.

Now, much of that history is documented on the pages of their new book, where even more families can discover the magic of Medora.

“The Magic of Medora” is available in several stores in Medora, as well as in Ferguson Books in Bismarck and Grand Forks and online at Medora Online store.

The Medora Musical and the ice cream top the grandkids’ list of favorite things in Medora.