Monticello: Seat of Jefferson County Florida
By Anne Haw Holt
Beginning around 1819 as an Indian Trading Post called Robison’s Corners, Monticello and Jefferson County were officially established in 1827, eighteen years before Florida became a state. The town and the surrounding county were settled by families from Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Prince Murat, Napoleon’s nephew was one of our early settlers. James Gadsden, Richard Call and others became Florida leaders. Many of those early families’ descendants still live here.
Filled with beautiful, well-kept antebellum and Victorian homes, Monticello boasts several exceptionally handsome public buildings as well as three structures designed by Atlanta Architect Joseph Neel Reid. Monticello’s quiet streets are beautifully shaded by pecan and magnolia trees and great live oaks hung with Spanish moss. Yards are green and filled with azaleas, magnificent heirloom camellias and other flowering shrubs.
Located in north-central Jefferson County at the intersection of the Georgia-Florida Parkway (Rt. 19) and the Old Spanish Trail (Rt. 90) Monticello is conveniently located a short twenty-five minutes east of Tallahassee, Florida’s capital and twenty-two miles south of Thomasville, Georgia. Known as Florida’s “Keystone County” Jefferson is the only Florida county that reaches from the Georgia line south to the Gulf of Mexico.
The beautiful, rolling land around Monticello is green with farms, great hunting plantations and protected conservation land, bordered by the strange, ancient, occasionally disappearing Aucilla River on the east and drained in the south by the brilliant, spring-fed Wacissa River. A good part of the magnificent St. Marks Wildlife Refuge at Newport, Florida (on Route 98) lies in Jefferson County.