Carter County Museum
Guest House Motel
Old Fairview Hotel
Ekalaka Elementary School
Carter County High School
McNab Pond View NE
View East From The Rims
The Northwest View
Long Pines Tower View South
Welcome to the Ekalaka, Montana Picture Tour.
Sorry we didn’t get the Ekalaka Montana Picture Tour posted sooner. We found it almost impossible to type on the keyboard after ten days of waving to everyone in Eastern Montana. Our right arm and “waving finger” were plain “wore out.” If your are coming to Eastern Montana from the Midwest or the “Coast,” you might want to strengthen the muscles in your arms first. Gradually build up your endurance by randomly waving at ten people a week. Who knows, it just might make sitting in traffic a little more enjoyable.
If you can wave to fifty people in one day you are ready for Eastern Montana. Remember start slow and work your way up to “Montana Howdy” level. Feel the burn! :o)
Walk around Ekalaka, Montana
If you don’t want to “rough it” camping at Medicine Rocks State Park during your visit to Ekalaka, Montana then stay at the comfortable Guest House Motel on Main Street. From there you can get a great breakfast and then head off for the Carter County Museum. The stop at the museum is vital for first time visitors. At the museum you can get a better understanding of all the history in and around Ekalaka, Montana.
The Carter County Museum has a great “Homesteaders” cabin to the left of the museum main entrance. Be sure to check out the complete duck-billed dinosaur skeleton on display inside the Carter County Museum. The museum building was built by Polish stonemason Nicholas Kakafatich in the 1920’s as a garage from local quarried sandstone.
Can you see the white two-story “A & A Stieg Wholesale” building on North Main street? That was the old “Fairview Hotel.” If the Carter County Courthouse is open, walk into the lobby and look at the black & white panorama of North Main taken in 1908. You’ll see the one-hundred-year-old “Fairview Hotel” and the surrounding countryside. It’s worth the look.
Exploring The Ekalaka Countryside
The Ekalaka country side is horse country. It’s a good idea to start learning how to ride when you are young. Fortunately, just up the road from town is the Trails End Ranch. A great place for kids to learn everything from horseback riding to gymnastics. The Trails End Ranch even has instructors that will show you how to rappel down the sixty-foot cliffs up on the rims. Oops! We got a head of ourselves. We didn’t tell you about the spectacular limestone rims near Ekalaka, Montana.
To get to the “rims” we will leave Highway 7 and drive up Forest Service road “FR 104,” it’s also known as the “Rimrock Carter Road.” It’s hard to miss the turn off, there is a large sign to “Camp Needmore” near the highway.
Nine miles north of Ekalaka, Montana is Medicine Rocks State Park, a location full of painted sandstone formations and other artifacts left by the native people. We thought there HAD to be to be other locations around Ekalaka that had similar painted sandstone formations. We were correct. Short walks from the gravel roads revealed all kinds of traces from the past. It was incredible how much can be found in the surrounding countryside.
Montana Working Ranch
(This shot is for all the kids who wanted to see a real Montana working ranch.) We passed the Harmon Creek Cattle ranch. North of here stands the Mill Iron Ranch. (Not pictured) The ranch buildings, dating to 1885, are strategically placed against a large cliff to the north, sparing the ranch hands from the cold winter winds.* The Mill Iron Ranch is now part of another ranch and is on private property. Come on there’s more…
*From the wonderful book: “A Traveler’s Companion to Montana History” by Carroll Van West
“Camp Needmore” – Former Civilian Conservation Corps Installation
“Camp Needmore” began as a Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) Company #1999 in 1935. “Camp Needmore” was built to house men working in the logging industry of southeast Montana. The camp remained in use by the C.C.C. until mid 1936.
The “Camp Needmore” facility covers 9.5 acres. The main Mess Hall/Kitchen, six Bunkhouses, Tank House Bathroom/Shower and Pump House are all original “C.C.C.” structures. From 1946 to 1973, the Carter Post #60, American Legion operated the site as an organization camp. The Carter County Commissioners have applied for a new permit to operate “Camp Needmore” as an organization camp. Both organizations have done a wonderful job maintaining this historic facility.