Monticello is the county seat of Jefferson County, named after Thomas Jefferson. It is located about 20 miles east of Tallahassee.
The name of the town is not pronounced like Jefferson's famous home in Virginia, however.
It is....... MONTI-I-SELL-O,
The population is about 3,000 people. It is a small working class southern town that serves not only as the county seat, but as a supply center for the surrounding farms.
Jefferson County is very old by Florida standards, being chartered in 1827 when Florida was still a territory.
Monticello is a pretty little town with giant oak trees forming canopy streets and a lot of old restored homes, many of them going back to before the Civil War. Many of these homes were restored during the Great Depression of the 1930's.
Main Street in Monticello is a Florida Main Street Community, and has historic sites such as the 1890 Perkins Opera House and the recently restored 1906 County Courthouse.
The opera house is still functional and puts on musical and theater performances, and the ground floor ballroom is a local gathering and meeting place.
There is also one of the prettiest Carpenter Gothic churches in all of Florida in the Monticello Historic District. Christ Episcopal Church is at 425 North Cherry Street.
If you are a Florida Gator football fan, you may know Monticello is famous as the boyhood home of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood.
Jack went to Monticello-Jefferson County High School and graduated in 1967.
He helped his team go to the state playoffs, and was voted as one of the State of Florida's 33 greatest high school football players of all time.
He had a great college career at the University of Florida, and an equally great career with the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.
He is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Jefferson County likes to refer to itself as the "Keystone County" because it is the only Florida county that reaches from the Georgia state line all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico.
The old saying in Florida is that south Florida is northern, and north Florida is southern.
That is certainly true of Monticello, a true gem of an old southern City.
MONTICELLO SMALL INNS
The Cottage Bed & Breakfast, 295 W. Palmer Mill Road, Monticello, FL 32344. Tel: 850-342-3541. Set among peaceful green fields and old oaks. Each room has a queen bed, european decor, sitting area, private bath, cable tv, comfy robes and central heat/air.
1872 John Denham House, 555 W. Palmer Mill Road, Monticello, FL 32344. Tel: 850-997-4568. This is a beautiful restoration of the house that was built in 1872. It has eight fireplaces and a lot of beautiful antiques on an acre of land.
BRICK HOUSE EATERY
190 N. Jefferson Street
Monticello, Florida 32344
When we are traveling around Florida we like to find nice local restaurants to eat in. We like to go where the locals go.
Brick House Eatery is one such restaurant.
It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can expect to see close to a full house when you visit. It is very popular, but service is fast and a wait is reasonable.
Don't expect to go online and find their website or a menu. This place follows the growing trend of having only a Facebook page to promote their business.
The place is simple, neat, and clean. It is located in a corner building in downtown Monticello. It has a friendly feeling and everybody seems happy, including not just the staff, but the customers.
Their menu selections are eclectic, and will please everyone from a vegetarian to a die hard Florida cracker southern food fan. To prove it, they have biscuits and gravy on their breakfast menu.
Everything is made fresh each day. You will love their fish tacos and they are experts at making fried green tomatoes. Their "maters" have a think crispy batter flavored with feta cheese.
The also have wraps and burgers, along with a beer selection. Their burger is reported by many to be the best in town.
Other favorites include Cobb Salad, BLT sandwich with the T being a fried green tomato. Once in a while they even have Prime Rib that they cook on their outside grill.
You can dine inside but there are also a few tables on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
Brick House Eatery is open 7 days a week. Monday through Saturday their hours are 700am to 200pm. On Friday they open again from 530pm to 900pm.
On Sunday, they are open from 1100am to 200pm.
An interesting side trip when visiting the town is Monticello Vineyards and Winery. You can have a nice tour and enjoy sipping some good wine.