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EUREKA, MONTANA

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Eureka, in the extreme northwest corner of Montana, was first named Deweyville after Ed Demers’ wife’s maiden name. The first buildings were on the banks of the Tobacco River. The town began building up the hill. A large sawmill, which supported the economy of the town, burned down in 1923; since then, the residents have developed a flourishing Christmas tree market. Huckleberries grow in abundance on the hillside. (from Cheney’s Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Eureka was known as the Tobacco Plains and was originally home to the Kootenai Indians. The northern section of US Highway 93 was originally an Indian trail and was later used by fur traders and pack trains for travel between Missoula and Vancouver, B.C. David Thompson was the first white man to see the area in 1808. Homesteaders began to come in the 1880s. The first buildings were built on the banks of the Tobacco River. In 1923 a large sawmill, which supported the town's economy burnt down. Since then the area has become a great supplier of Christmas trees.

This area offers some of the state's scenic treasures tucked away in Montana's northwest corner. Tobacco River Campground is located adjacent to the Tobacco River in a natural forested area. It is also in the vicinity of 90-mile-long Lake Koocanusa and The Hoodoos, a limestone formation found in an adjoining bay off the lake. Ten Lakes Scenic Area treats visitors to mountain drives, pristine lakes and abundant fishing. For area history, visit the Tobacco Valley Historical Village. It is a unique collection of buildings and various structures from the 1880s to 1920s.

Elevation: 2,566 feet.

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Lake Koocanusa cuts a narrow fjord-like gorge between the Purcell Mountains and the Salish Mountains. The lake provides excellent fishing and boating opportunities. Picnicking sites, overnight camping, ball fields, a swimming beach, and boat ramps are available here as well as summer tours of Libby Dam, which is located approximately 43 miles south of Rexford at Lake Koocanusa.

Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, in the Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana, follows the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa via State Highway No. 37. Open year-round, this 67-mile route connects Libby and Eureka, traveling right through Rexford. Rock outcrops and ledges provide habitat for bighorn sheep, seen frequently along the byway. Numerous hiking trails in the Kootenai National Forest intersect the byway and a 100-mile circular bicycle tour begins at Libby Dam.

Eureka is also located near Ten Lake Scenic Area of the Kootenai National Forest, which offers more than 89 miles of trails of remote backpacking and hiking opportunities through rugged terrain with spectacular mountain views reaching into Canada. High alpine mountains, cool clear high mountain lakes, peaceful meandering trails, all combine to make Ten Lakes Scenic Area a backpacker's and angler’s delight. 

 

 

 

 
 

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