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Ekalaka is the seat of government for Carter County, and located in southeastern Montana. Ekalaka is part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, and home to the Carter County Museum, known for its dinosaur collections. The town was founded by David Harrison Russell on the edge of his ranch, and named for Russell’s Sioux wife, Ijkalaka. Tradition has it that a man named Carter became bogged down on the edge of Russell’s ranch in the spring of 1885, and decided to open a saloon there, saying, “Anyplace is a good place to open a saloon.” His establishment became a trade center for cattle and sheep ranchers. Carter later built structures to house hunters and freight workers who ran the local freight line, and then other businesses sprang up in the surrounding area. Ekalaka is located at the intersection of Highways 7 and 323, and not very near any other towns. Willard is northeast of Akalaka, and Ridgeway is to the south. Both the North Dakota and South Dakota borders are east of town.

 

 

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