Carter County Museum Ekalaka Montana

Ekalaka

Ekalaka is the "town at the end of the road," located on State Highway 7 south of Baker in eastern Montana, this town of about 650 residents is the county seat of Carter County.

Ekalaka began as a saloon for cowboys working the area in the late 1800s. According to local legend, buffalo hunter Claude Carter was hauling a load of logs along intending to build himself a saloon in another location. When his wagon became bogged down in a mud hole, Carter decided to build the Old Stand Saloon in a spot that became Ekalaka.

David Harrison Russell was the first homesteader in the area. In 1875, Russell married an Indian woman named "Ekalaka," which means "Swift One." Ekalaka was Sitting Bull’s niece. She lived in the area until her death in 1901. In the early days, Ekalaka also became known as "Pup Town" because of the large number of prairie dog towns around.

 

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