From handsome buildings and trees and flowers to paintings and photographs hanging in Jefferson Arts Gallery on West Washington Street to poets, novelists, potters, weavers,
doll makers and more, art is alive and well and growing in our beautiful little city. Visitors will be able to view a sample of the work of local artists in the Gallery all summer in 2016.
Officially established in 1827, eighteen years before Florida became a state, Monticello was 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. Filled with beautiful, well-kept antebellum and Victorian homes, Monticello can also boast of several exceptionally handsome public buildings as well as two structures designed by Atlanta Architect Joseph Neel Ried. Some of those buildings are being lovingly restored right now with the help of state grants and generous donations by local supporters. Monticello 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 offering sheltered homes and food for birds.
Located in north/central Jefferson County a 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. The Jefferson County 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. A good part of the beautiful St. Marks Wildlife Refuge lies in Jefferson County. The town recently saved a twenty-six acre urban forest and made it into Monticello Ecological Park. This park has a trail with boardwalks over wetlands. It is filled with old-growth trees that will always provide a haven for birds and small wildlife.
At least four Spanish Mission sites are located in southern Jefferson County and Archaeologists have discovered Paleo-Indian sites occupied 12,000 to 14,500 years ago in the same area. The Aucilla Sinks Trail meanders alongside mysterious sinkholes created by the Aucilla sliding underground and reappearing at random as small slits in stone or gorgeous ponds and lakes. One of the best Kayaking and canoeing sites in north Florida, the cold-clear Wacissa leads to a magnificent blue spring and the Slave Canal, dug to help ship cotton before the Civil War. The wilderness reaches past the hidden Pinhook River to the Saint Marks Wildlife Refuge on the west and reaches out into Taylor County and the Econfina River on the east.