Regional History

In the spring of 1881, David Russell and his wife Ijakalaka — an Ogalala Sioux — moved to eastern Montana and began a family. In 1885, a town had grown up near their ranch and was named Ekalaka, spelled phonetically for the ease of visitors. The Carter County Museum tells the story of the presence of American Indians in this area which goes back far more than the 1880s. This area has been home to several tribes, including the Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Mandan/Hidatsa, Lakota (Sioux), and Assiniboine and extends back to the Pleistocene era with the Mill Iron Site. On exhibit we have beadwork, pottery, hunting and gathering tools as well as other items that illustrate a livelihood and enduring traditions that continue today.

As the homesteaders moved into the area their possessions traveled across the prairie with them. The exhibits here at the CCM reflect the numerous donations that have been made by the residents of Carter County, telling a story that stretches back to the late 1800s. That story is told in garments, tools, guns, saddles, branding irons and more.

With the formation of Carter County in 1917, many of county’s sons and daughters have answered the call of their country and marched off to war, some never to return. The purpose of the Veteren’s Room is to tell their story in some small way. Each display within the Veteran’s room depicts an era of our country’s call to duty, beginning with the Indian Wars in the mid 1800′s to Desert Storm, complete with many of the uniforms, accoutrements, and memorabilia of the experience.

Posted in Exhibitions.