The Town of Montrose is a primarily rural town in south central Dane County. Its proximity to Madison brought residential development pressures to the community during the 1970s. Although the Town of Montrose is a farming area, two rural settlements, Basco and Paoli, are located in the town along State Highway 69. Paoli, settled by the French and later the Irish, German and Swiss, is a residential area interspersed with small businesses and manufacturers.

Most of the town land is farmed with more than 19,200 acres assessed as agricultural in 1978. Forest and wetlands make up more of 1,500 acres of the town land use. The town is bordered on the east and west by ridge lines which form minor drainage divides for Sugar River, which drains the southwest part of the county. Meridian and Dickerson type soils make up some of the best farmland, which is located in the central valley of the town between the ridge land.

The Town of Montrose was established with the Town of Madison in 1846. In 1847 the Town  of Montrose was established as its own territory and  named after a town in Pennsylvania. Paoli was established in 1849 by the Honorable P. W. Matts.  The first board consisted of a Town Chair, three Supervisors, a Clerk and a Treasurer and three Assessors.  In 2021 with Town will have been in existence for 175 years.

The population in the Town of Montrose was 1,156 in 1870,  at the last census in 2010 the population was 1,081 with the same boundaries and in 2017 the population is 1,095.  Montrose was one of the main crossing points for the Indian tribes as they traveled.  Two of the crossings were named Fish Trap Ford and Sugar Creek Springs.