Monticello’s Harvest Dinner in a Rain Storm

Dessert Table - Harvest Dinner

Friends at Dinner

                         All seats were sold out, of course.  

All the best people were there — ready for a great Saturday evening at the Harvest Dinner by the Jefferson County Historical Association. Tables  placed around the Wirick-Simmons Garden in Monticello were all full. Guests ate venison, quail, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs and more. 

Barbara presided over yummy looking cakes, from pecan to double chocolate.

Then it sprinkled a little rain.

Everyone laughed a little and continued eating and talking to their friends around the large round tables.

Then it started to rain seriously. It began to pour. The wind blew and it rained — Oh my, how it rained.

As one, members of the group grabbed their plates and rushed under the large serving tent. Instead of six people at a table they crowded in twelve or maybe more – still enjoying their food.

Others stood along the serving tables. Some held their fine china plate in one hand and their real silver fork in the other. No matter the little rain problem, the food was delicious even interesting—and the company was better.

Some might want to say the Jefferson County Historical Association’s Harvest Dinner was rained out this year. They might want to say the event was a wash out, but that’s not what happened. We had a fabulous time and will never forget the wonderful Harvest Dinner when it rained buckets for hours. The dinner where we crowded in the serving tent, enjoyed our meal, our dessert. Some even finished with a cup of coffee, and we talked.

Yes, we talked. Groups formed and re-formed we reached out to everyone. Newcomers met life-long residents. We had time—time to find out what our old and new friends were doing and how things changed in their lives. We will certainly never forget this Harvest Dinner. When it was over, we realized — we didn’t mind a little rain at all.

Friends Eating and Laughing

Friends Eating and Laughing

Laughter is the best medicine.

Laughter is the best medicine.


Monticello Bike Fest


Anne Haw Holt


Fun for the whole family in Monticello on April 9, 2016. Ride along Jefferson County’s Heritage Roads in a 10, 30, 60 or 100 mile race. If you don’t race simply enjoy riding at your own pace amidst the elegance of our canopy roads as you wind along an historical trail that begins and ends in Monticello. We’re offering an entire day of enjoyment for all.


Join the race by calling Katrina (listen, you can hear her beautiful, welcoming smile) at 850-997-5552. As usual, one of our sponsors for this wonderful event is our hometown community bank; Farmers and Merchants. We are also fortunate to work with Higher Ground Bicycle Co.

Crepe Myrtles in Blossom

Crepe Myrtles in Blossom

This is one in a series of bike races held on the Heritage and other interesting roads and trails that wind through the natural beauty of rural Jefferson County and our five small country towns beginning with Monticello, moving east to Aucilla, south to Lamont, Waukeenah and Wacissa, three historic towns nestled in farms and woods, then west to the old Railroad town of Lloyd. Our first Bike Fest enjoyed a large contingent of riders and many spectators. This time we have other events planned that offer fun for the entire day–APRIL 9th –Don’t miss it. See you there-(I’ll be one of the people hiding behind a camera.)







Barnhill House - E. Washington Street

Small Towns Have Long Memories

By  Anne H. Holt

An exhibit of historical photographs of “Founding Families of Jefferson County” is showing in Jefferson Arts Gallery, open 10 PM to 2 PM every Wednesday and Saturday. The free Exhibit will run through February, 2016. Many of these photographs evoke interesting memories in visitors who have lived the area for years or are descendants of our founding families.

Families from Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina started coming to the town we call Monticello around 1820. They found a few families already here, the Alexanders and others. There was a trading post kept by someone named Roberson or Robertson, perhaps located at the corner of present day Pearl and Jefferson Streets. The spot where our beautiful Jefferson County courthouse now sits was known as Roberson or Robertson’s Corners.

Sometimes a man would come before his family, to find a place to develop a plantation. Wisely, he would search for “old fields,” those burned over areas in the rich red hills where for many years, the Apalachee kept the land cleared and raised their corn. Siting a plantation on old fields meant a planter could raise a crop the first year, not have to wait to clear land before he could plant. That first crop could make all the difference in his success.

Old Bellamy Road and fields off Avalon Road in Jefferson County, Florida

Old Bellamy Road and fields off Avalon Road in Jefferson County, Florida

Monticello is an extremely small town. Respect for our town’s past glory runs deep. Our shady street are simply lovely. The town is surrounded by the beautiful “Red Hills” of Florida, gracefully rolling hills that still prove congenial to small-scale farmers, breeders of Thoroughbred race horses, planters and conservationists who love the lush and inviting landscape.

The town itself still has many well-preserved houses, shops and small businesses. They all look as though they sprang up of their own accord through the course of a long and virtuous history.

Monticello and Jefferson County’s long history is always with us. The descendants of families who settled here in the 1820s and before live on Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other Streets in Monticello. Plantation families live in Lloyd,Silhouette of William Bellamy - Jefferson County, Florida Lamont, Ashville, Aucilla, Waukeenah and Wacissa. Descendants of founding families work in our shops, run small farms and businesses and serve in City and County offices. Tiny towns have long memories.

These photographs of early families evoke wonderful stories of romance, historical gossip, even tales about duels fought in the “no-man’s land” along the Georgia state border. I’ve been told that there are two families in Jefferson County who do not speak to this day because of a duel fought before the Civil War. Oh, they say there was a Jefferson County judge who sat in the cupola of the Courthouse and played the violin on summer evenings.

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