About Carter County Museum
The Carter County Museum was established in 1936 by the Carter County Geological Society (CCGS) to collect, preserve and catalog artifacts and specimens of historical and scientific significance. The museum was first located in the Carter County High school but later found its permanent home in a former automotive garage in the late 1970’s. CCM holds the significant distinction of being the first county museum in Montana and the first to display dinosaur fossils in Montana. This distinction is attributed to the efforts of Walter Peck, one of the founders and the museum’s first Director. During his tenure as a state senator, Peck played a crucial role in passing legislation that established the legal and tax structure for county museums to exist. As a result, CCM serves as a vital resource for the county. It plays a key role in preserving and showcasing the unique cultural and natural heritage of the region, providing educational opportunities, outreach, and driving economic development through tourism.
In 2013, the museum began hosting the Annual Dino Shindig, an event that invites these scientists to speak to the local community about their work in the area. The dinosaur festivities culminate with a street dance and expedition into Hell Creek in which families and amateur fossil enthusiasts can gain real-world experience in field paleontology. The Dino Shindig was named Montana’s Event of the Year by the Office of Tourism and Business Development in 2017.
Exhibits cover a comprehensive 100 million year history of the region, from fossil dinosaurs from the Western Interior Seaway through the extinction event in the K-Pg boundary of the Hell Creek Formation, Ice Age hunting techniques of paleoindian tribes, and homesteading in the West. Our exhibits include fully mounted skeletons of Anatotian copei and T. rex, a complete skull of Triceratops, mounts and casts of pachycephalosaurus, mosasaur, and a pterosaur as well as displays on the enduring cultures of American Indian nations in the area, natural history, ranching, rodeo, and the story of life on the Plains.
For nearly 90 years, the Carter County Museum has been dedicated to inspiring, educating, and enriching the life of the public by deepening the understanding and appreciation of history, science, and art. As a “sister museum” to the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) and a nonfederal repository to Bureau of Land Management fossils, the museum is also a member of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, the Kumamoto Montana Natural Science Museums Association, the Museums Association of Montana, and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Sabre Moore, Ph.D.
Sabre Moore is the Executive Director of the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka, Montana. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies with a focus in Public History from Montana State University in 2023, her M.A. in Museum Studies & Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University in 2016, and a B.A. in History from Montana State University in 2013. Her research focuses on museums and rural community vitality, and how power is exercised in practices of place. Sabre is the President of the Museums Association of Montana, Chair of Visit Southeast Montana, serves on the Montana Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council and is on the Board of Directors for Starry Skies Montana and Carter County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to being a DarkSky Advocate, she is an EMT for Dahl Memorial Healthcare Ambulance and a Site Steward for Medicine Rocks State Park and the Bureau of Land Management in Carter County, Montana.
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Curator of Paleontology
Nathan Carroll, Ph.D.
Dr. Nathan Carroll is the Carter County Museum's Curator of Paleontology and a founder of the Annual Dino Shindig event. Nathan received a B.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University, where he studied pterosaurs. His doctoral thesis at the Earth Science Department at the University of Southern California focused on flight-feather evolution studying three-dimensional amber, coprolites, and lithic fossils. He is excited that his flight research has landed him in Ekalaka. In addition to his curatorial duties, Nathan manages our paleontology lab and active field program.
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Marilyn Schultz is the Assistant Director at the Carter County Museum. She was born and raised in the Ekalaka area and has more than a decade of experience with the CCM. Marilyn's favorite part of her job is working on the museum's extensive photography collection.
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Gift Shop Manager
Patrick Rouane is the museum's Gift Shop Manager. He holds a B.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University-Bozeman. In addition to the gift shop, Pat works in the museum's paleontology lab preparing fossils and is part of our active field team.
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Receptionist, Database Assistant
Denise Elmore is the Receptionist and Database Assistant at the Carter County Museum. She is a National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide and helps lead tours and design programs, particularly the Sewing Soiree monthly craft workshop and the Carter County Heritage Orchard project.
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Barb Elmore came to the Ekalaka area around 30 years ago from Iowa. She taught school at Lame Deer, a one-room schoolhouse in Mill Iron, and Ekalaka Public Schools for 31 years. During her years of teaching she has attended many schools for continuing education, such as the MASTERS Project (Math and Science Teachers for Reservation School) at Kansas University, Cosmosphere: International SciEd Center and Space Center, University of Montana (writing program), and many classes from the BER program out of Bellevue, WA. Before her teaching career, Barb was a social worker for the State of Iowa. Barb loves to travel and has been to 37 states and 5 foreign countries. She and her husband, Shannon, own the BS Ranch, located south of Ekalaka. She has two daughters, Kimberlee and Barbara Rose. Rounding out the family are five dogs and one cat. Barb loves learning about new things and helping children explore their surroundings in a fun way