Montgomery County, nestled in the heart of the Mohawk Valley, is home to ten towns, one city and just over 50,000 residents. Located at the foot of the Adirondacks, this Leatherstocking region is filled with beautiful countryside, including numerous parks and recreation facilities.
It's that quality in a person that drives them to get up and dust themselves off when knocked down. It's that disposition that doesn't waste time asking if the glass is half empty or half full, because the point is there's water to drink and hard work makes you thirsty.
Yes, the people who call Montgomery County home are made of "something stronger" but this quality is nothing new. This strength is part of our heritage. It's the steel and wood in our DNA, the foundation we've always built upon.
If you're visiting you can see historic symbols and landmarks that recall and celebrate our strength. Like Fort Klock, where courage and conviction ruled the day as patriots fought for American independence. Or the old carpet mills, stoic reminders of the hard work and perseverance it took to create a robust rug making industry. Today, we think of those rugs as an eloquent metaphor for a community that is made stronger by the threads of determination and conviction that woven together create our collective character.
Like the townspeople, the land itself- for that matter, all the region's resources-are made of "something stronger." Stronger business resources, for example. As the original Gateway to the West, Montgomery County played a primary role in driving this region's growth by leading thousands of settlers onward to prosperity. In this regard, Montgomery County is still a gateway to success. Located just 20 minutes west of Albany, Montgomery County is quickly establishing itself as an ideal bedroom community for commuters. Businesses will appreciate the area's strong strategic position including close proximity to key markets in the US and Canada, a well-trained workforce; available, affordable land and a can-do environment that supports everything from start-ups to big business and is as fertile as the surrounding farmlands . . . all led by the Montgomery County Business Development Center.
You can see this "something stronger" in the wild beauty of the land. And while natural beauty is not uncommon in this part of the world, the "take your breath beauty" of Montgomery County is significantly harder to find. Unlike more congested regions where nature kneels in obscurity behind walls of urban sprawl, where you'll find the occasional acre of "man-made" nature complete with uniform trees and carefully coiffed gardens, here you will find nature at its purest, wild and beautiful. Preserving that nature is a priority for Montgomery County and it's not just our farming culture that fosters such a close connection to the land, it's the reverence we have for the region's scenic splendor. Whether it's the idyllic pastoral charm of rolling hills; the leaves changing colors in Charleston State Forest, the majestic peaks of the Adirondacks; the serenity of Wintergreen Park with its reflecting pools, waterfalls and nature trails; or the light of the river lined with weeping willows catching fire with the sunset . . . Montgomery County is a stronghold for Mother Nature.
All this natural beauty also provides the ultimate playground for year-round outdoor and recreational activities. When snow blankets the land, it's a winter sports paradise with ice-skating, cross-country skiing and over 200 miles of snowmobile trails. In the summer time residents and visitors alike head outdoors to flex their own muscles enjoying Montgomery County's awesome outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, biking, running, boating, fishing and more. And the region's mighty community spirit is evident in every season in the energy that emanates from the crowds as year-round slate of sporting events, fairs, festivals, and concerts bring together young and old alike.
Of course, real strength isn't always about being tough. Real strength can be found in genuine compassion and community, and people in Montgomery County are about as genuine as it gets. They will give you the shirt off their backs and ask nothing in return . . . except maybe that you pay it forward.
While it's hard to name or put a finger on exactly what this "something stronger" is, like the Mohawk River it flows through all we are and all we do. It has defined our past and present and is shaping the future. It is evident everywhere. In the dedication of the saints honored at The Shrine of our Lady of Martyrs. In the toil of area farmers. In the runners and bikers on nearby trails pushing themselves to reach a new "personal best". In efforts to renew and repurpose old buildings. In the unflagging efforts of county leaders to bring in new business. In the way residents work together to create the lives they've always wanted.
Call it mettle. Call it fortitude. It's that "something stronger" in the people of our great community that, like the mighty Mohawk, has carved itself into the bedrock of who we are. And like the mighty Mohawk River, we couldn't change course . . . even if we wanted to.