Montgomery County, Missouri

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Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 12,136. It was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec, Canada. Its county seat is Montgomery City[1].

With a branch of Stone Hill Winery in New Florence, the county is part of the Missouri Rhineland.

Contents

History

The county has evidence of human habitation from 10,000 years ago, the Archaic period of indigenous Americans. An ancient site was found during archaeological excavations at Graham Cave on the Loutre River.

In the early 19th century, European settlement started at a greater pace, after exploration during previous decades by French trappers and British and American traders.

The Loutre Island area is commonly associated with the German-founded towns of Rhineland and Starkenburg, established by immigrants of the mid-19th century and later. Starkenburg has several historically significant Catholic churches built in the German architectural tradition. These were originally German-language congregations. The first house of worship was a log church, maintained as a chapel. Also in Starkenburg is St. Martins Church, built in 1873 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Above its entrance is the text: "This is the House Of God and the Gate Of Heaven". (This text also appears over the entrance of the Rennes-le-Château in France, traditionally believed to be the secret home of the Holy Grail.)

Starkenburg is also the site of the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church, built in the early 20th century and listed on the NRHP. For further devotions and pilgrimage, the community created an outdoor area for representations of the Stations of the Cross, Mount Calvary and Holy Sepulchre. Starkenburg is located further inland from the Missouri River. Rhineland citizens used federal funds to relocate their houses 1½ miles away from the river after the destructive Great Flood of 1993.

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