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Montgomery County is located in western central Arkansas with Mount Ida being the county seat. The county, 804 sq. miles, (515,210 acres) was formed from Hot Spring County 9 December, 1842 and named in honor of General Richard Montgomery of the Revolutionary War. Montgomery County records in the courthouse are intact from July 1845. The population was 9,245 in 2000. Sixty-three percent of the county is Ouachita national forest land. Poultry, swine and beef cattle along with forestry are important industries in the area. In the past, cotton was an important cash crop. Average rainfall 46 inches, average snowfall 4 inches. Average temperature 68F. Prevailing winds south southwest.
The Ouachita River flows through the northern section of the county passing the nearby communities of Pine Ridge, Oden, Pencil Bluff, Sims and emptying into Lake Ouachita at the community of Washita. Lake Ouachita, the largest lake in Arkansas, was formed in 1956 with a surface area of approx. 40,000 acres extending thirty miles up the valley. Graves were relocated before the lake was filled.
The annual Quartz, Quiltz & Craftz Festival draws many visitors to Mt Ida, the 'Quartz Crystal Capital of the World'. Other attractions include canoeing on the Ouachita and Caddo rivers, boating on Lake Ouachita, hiking and mountain bike riding on national forest trails, fishing and hunting for deer, turkey and small game and nature. This region was once the hunting grounds for the Caddo Indians before they migrated to Texas. The Caddo River starts in the southwestern part of the county and flows near the communities of Black Springs, Norman, Caddo Gap before crossing into Pike County.
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