Montgomery County (1779)

Written By Jonathan Martin


Montgomery County is named in honor of Revolutionary War Brigadier General Richard Montgomery. Before the British adequately reinforced strongholds in Canada, Montgomery, a native of Ireland, was commissioned to capture them.  Montgomery moved quickly and seized Fort St. John and Montreal, but the general died later during the harsh Battle of Quebec.  Many places across the United States are named after General Montgomery, and the Piedmont county is one.  In the past, many have assumed that the county seat, Troy, is named after the ancient Trojan city. However, some historians have argued that the town is named after one of two Tar Heel politicians, John B. Troy or Robert Troy.


Montgomery County is situated in the southern, Piedmont. Culled from Anson County in 1779, Montgomery County was originally inhabited by the Cheraw until German and Scottish colonists, the first Europeans in the area, settled on the land.  Ether, Pekin, Steeds, Wadeville, Eldorado, Mt. Gilead, and Uwharrie are some communities and townships within the Montgomery County.  Agriculture, manufacturing, and mining make up most of the county’s economy. Cotton and tobacco are the most productive crops while the county’s primary industries include textiles and lumber.  Montgomery County is known as the "Golden Opportunity" county.  Although there is no solid evidence on this nickname, it is most likely due to the presence of gold, silver, and other natural resources in the hills of Uwharrie and the rest of the county.


A rural and wooded region, Montgomery County’s primary woodland attracts hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts.  It is also home to much of the Uwharrie National Forest—approximately 50,000 acres.  Also, many rivers, lakes, and mountains are within the region. Several parts of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River flow through the county as well as Badin Lake, a body of water dammed from the river. Some other geographic features include the Shelter Mountain, Horse Trough Mountain, Lick Fork (a historic stream in the county), Cheek Creek, and Drowning Creek.


Montgomery County is home to several historical and artistic sites. A 600-year old Indian mound known as the Town Creek Indian Mound was the first North Carolina State Historic Site. The mound was once a place where various Indian tribes of the Pee Dee region gathered, hosted feasts, and discussed tribal matters. Home of the Indian Heritage Festival, prominent Christmas parades in Mt. Gilead and Star, and the Troy Fest, Montgomery County has many cultural commemorations year round. Also, some cultural venues within Montgomery County include the Montgomery Community Theater and the Roller Mill Historical Museum.