Originally known as the ‘DeMoss Settlement’, after one of the area’s first settlers, Monterey was officially platted as ‘Buena Vista’ in 1849. This name remained until the establishment of the post office, in 1852, when it was discovered that there was already a Buena Vista Post Office in southern Indiana. The name was promptly changed to ‘Monterey’, in honor of the war-famed Monterrey in Mexico. By 1920, the population of Monterey had peaked, at 304.
Today, the population of Monterey stands at slightly over 230. Monterey is home to the headquarters of the First National Bank of Monterey, a Township Library, a hardware store, a tavern, a post office, a health clinic, and a building-materials supplier.