Wedged between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains, Montgomery County is watered by the Upper Roanoke River on the east and streams flowing into the New River on the west. The county's western half is characterized by rolling uplands at about 2,000 feet elevation and the lower, eastern half by narrow river and creek valleys walled in by mountains. Germans and Scots-Irish numbered among early settlers in the mid-eighteenth century. The county was created in 1776 and the county seat of Christiansburg was established in 1790. Blacksburg is today the most populous town, because of the presence of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech; MO17), which was founded in 1872. The county's traditionally agricultural economy was supplemented by lumbering, coal mining, and tourism, with several large springs resorts established in the nineteenth century. Early building was generally log, eventually supplemented by frame and brick construction, a diversity of building types and styles in the towns, and the Collegiate Gothic stone architecture of Virginia Tech.
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