"In 1901, at the dawn of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt became the nation's 26th President and ultimately one of its greatest conservationists. He later said, "I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota."
It was here in the North Dakota badlands in 1883 that Theodore Roosevelt first arrived to hunt a buffalo. Before he left, he had acquired primary interests in the Maltese Cross Ranch (also called the Chimney Butte Ranch). Roosevelt thrived on the vigorous outdoor lifestyle, and, at the Maltese Cross, actively participated in the life of a working cowboy.
The Maltese Cross Ranch cabin was originally located about seven miles south of Medora in the wooded bottom-lands of the Little Missouri River. At Roosevelt's request, ranch managers Sylvane Ferris and Bill Merrifield built a one and one-half story cabin complete with a shingled roof and root cellar. Constructed of durable ponderosa pine logs, the cabin was considered somewhat of a "mansion" in its day, with wooden floors and three separate rooms (kitchen, living room and Roosevelt's bedroom). The steeply pitched roof, an oddity on the northern plains, created an upstairs sleeping loft for the ranch hands." (Wording from http://www.nps.gov/thro/historyculture/maltese-cross-cabin.htm)