Anne H. Holt, Ph.D, Program Manager
Main Street Monticello Florida Inc.
P. O. Box 923
Monticello, Florida 32345
Phone: 850-576-0721 email email@example.com
History and Mission of Main Street
Main Street Monticello Florida was created in 1996. We have a Board of Directors whose members are interested, active and determined to make Main Street Monticello a success, attracting new business to our city and visitors to create traffic for the existing businesses. To help accomplish this goal, we plan to add historical signage to important buildings to enhance our walking tour, and general business signage.
We will continue to hold events such as festivals and downtown gatherings to commemorate important dates. We recently hired a part-time Manager to keep our records, work on a membership drive and help organize our events and publicity. We plan to increase our membership and attract more community participation.
(3) The need or problems your organization works to address:
a. Our over-arching goal is to revitalize our historic downtown through attracting new businesses and marketing existing ones. We have several empty storefronts on our main business thoroughfare and other buildings on side streets. We must find businesses to fill them.
We are at the crossing of two heavily traveled roads, one a four-lane highway except where it passes through downtown. Our businesses need municipal signage so these travelers know what is available to them and have reason to stop and shop.
Our unemployment rate is unusually high and new businesses will provide desperately needed local jobs. At this writing more than 96% of our employed residents must drive to another town to work.
b. Current programs and accomplishments include collaboration with the Jefferson County – Monticello Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson County Tourist Development Bureau, our Historical Association and Monticello’s businesses to create programs that improve downtown. We work to market a positive image of our small city through sound economic development that promotes our future and preserves our past.
Our city was chartered in 1827, when Florida was still a new territory, and our strongest attractions to visitors and new residents are the beautiful and interesting buildings in our National Register Historic District. In partnership with other civic associations we attract visitors and new residents as we market several walking tours, a spring tour of homes, ghost tours and several festivals.
Another attraction we market heavily is Mahan Road or Route 90 from Tallahassee to Monticello. A pleasant and attractive country drive at all times, in the summer when the crape myrtles are blossoming—it is easily the most beautiful eighteen miles in Florida.
Monticello’s two-day Southern Music Rising Festival is only three years old but attracts from 4000 to 5000 people. In June our well-known, traditional Watermelon Festival attracts many more. In addition to working to attract new businesses to Monticello our Main Street organization handles attracting and organizing vendors for our Christmas festival.
Main Street Monticello recently acquired a long lease on the historic Monticello Jail building at a nominal cost. We plan to open the area with the old cells and the sheriff’s living quarters as a museum to attract visitors to our city. The rest of the building will become a cultural center with offices for several local non-profits.
We work hard to get publicity for our city and county. Most issue of our local newspaper includes a column explaining Main Street activities. The Tallahassee Democrat and WFSU regularly cover our activities. Four of our community leaders recently appeared on the one-hour long WFSU Perspectives Program to discuss Monticello and the many benefits of our area available to visitors and residents. Visiting Monticello is the subject of an article in the May 2010 issue of Country Living Magazine.
Many visitors from nearby Tallahassee and Thomasville, Georgia come here for our outstanding Farmers Market and to enjoy a play or musicale in our restored 1890 Opera House or visit our fine restaurants. The street fairs Main Street Monticello organizes to celebrate Halloween, Christmas and Cinco de Mayo are heavily attended by local people and visitors from Tallahassee and the general area.
Located only a few miles from the Georgia line in “Middle Florida,” The City of Monticello is the county seat of Jefferson County with a total population of just over 14,000. The county population is well balanced in terms of age, race and sex.
Jefferson County Florida
Population, 2009 estimate 14,760
Persons under 5 years old, percent, 2008 5.4%
Persons under 18 years old, percent, 2008 18.6%
Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2008 15.2%
Female persons, percent, 2008 45.9%
White persons, percent, 2008 (a) 63.6%
Black persons, percent, 2008 (a) 34.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2008 (a) 0.4%
Asian persons, percent, 2008 (a) 0.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2008 (a) 0.1%
Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2008 1.0%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2008 (b) 3.5%
White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2008 60.8%.
Monticello is a small but progressive community of about 3000 residents, proud of its rich north Florida heritage and high quality of life. Ours is a well-educated populace. Our income is considerably below the median for Florida.
In addition to flourishing bed and breakfast establishments to house the visitors we attract to the town we boast a variety of restaurants and cafés. The City of Monticello recently built a beautiful new Senior Center, our public library is comprehensive and up to date. Our 1890 vintage Opera House provides reasonably priced entertainment in an exciting atmosphere. We enjoy good public and private schools, easy access to higher education and many churches, some established during Florida’s territorial days.