Montrose County Celebrates 125 Years

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Tuesday, Montrose County kicked off a week long celebration to commemorate the county's 125th anniversary.

Take a walk around Montrose County today and it's hard to ignore the massive growth and booming economy in the area.

Take a walk around Montrose County 125 years ago and it was anything but.

According to the Montrose County Historical Society, Montrose, or Pamona as it was called back then, was a small town with a few scattered farms and several gold, silver, and coal mines in the higher elevations. Historians say in 1882, a railroad was built right near today's Main Street, and from there the town took off.

"Freighting was the big industry at that time," said Zilla Mae Brown, President of the Montrose County Historical Society.

Historians say after that the town continued to expand, with agriculture as its defining characteristic. Then in 1883, the area became Montrose County.

"We need to recognize and protect this area, and enjoy and celebrate it," said Brown.

That's just what county officials and residents will be doing this week.

Dressed in 1880s garb and riding in on an authentic stage coach, the Montrose County Commissioners, other county officials, and residents came together to celebrate the county's past and future.

"We're in the midst of change, we're becoming more urbanized," said Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis. "But you know, we still hang on to our rural and agricultural roots."

Tuesday night, county officials and residents posed for a picture on the steps of the Old Montrose County Courthouse. And that's just the beginning. The festivities will continue for the next three days and will culminate with the County Fair and parade.

"There's a lot of good activities and a lot of good things happening," said Ellis. "People should come down enjoy them with us."

Officials say Montrose County has made huge strides since 1883, and they can only imagine what lies ahead in the 125 years.

"One-hundred twenty-five years from now, I can't imagine what life would be like," said Ellis.

Below is a schedule of the week's events:

Wed, July 16, 2008
Montrose Regional Airport, 6pm
A presentation on "Aviation on the Western Slope," Airport tour, aircraft and antique vehicles exhibit, music and light snacks

Thurs, July 17, 2008
Naturita Community Center, 6pm
A historic presentation of the Rimrocker Historic Society, music and meal

Fri, July 18, 2008
Montrose Pavilion, 7:30pm
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra performs
*There is a fee for this event

July 18-July 27, 2008
Montrose County Fair

Thurs, July 24, 2008
Main Street, 5:30pm
Montrose County Parade of Champions

Sat, July 26, 2008
County Fairgrounds, 8pm
Extreme Motocross
*There is a fee for this event


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