The county seat (1882, 5,794 feet) was named by town company president Joseph Selig for the Duke of Montrose in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Legend of Montrose (1819). This is a growing community with a diversified economy that combines agriculture, mining, service industries, and tourism, sweetened by Russell Stover Candies, which moved its main plant here in the 1970s from Denver.
Montrose's agricultural roots are obvious in many venerable storage and processing facilities along the tracks near the former D&RG depot, now the county historical museum. Its commercial role is reflected in several solid blocks of two-story business buildings along Main Street (U.S. 50), where masonry upper stories with brick corbeling and metal cornices survive above generally altered storefronts.
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