Montrose was chartered in 1882 by settlers who arrived in 1871. Originally a mining town, it eventually shifted to agriculture when the mine dried up. In 1890, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Co. built its mainline railroad through Montrose as part of its Denver-Salt Lake City route. In 1906, the track through Montrose was updated to standard gauge along with the rest of the Denver-Salt Lake City route. This mainline railroad still serves as an asset today.
In 1909, the Gunnison Tunnel was opened after its construction was complete. Built in order to provide irrigation water to the valley, the opening ceremony was visited by President Taft and it signaled the start of a new era of agriculture for Montrose. Much has changed since the city’s founding in 1882, but Montrose continues to be a gateway to the wonders of Western Colorado.