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Contact: Brittany Lesser,

Secretary Detzner Designates Monticello Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Main Street Monticello has been designated the Florida Main Street Community of the Month for October 2014. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. Main Street Monticello was designated in 1997, and has completed over 255 rehabilitation projects, totaling over $16 million. The program has brought 72 businesses into the historic downtown, which generated 164 local jobs.

“Monticello is a charming small town with much history,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “The Monticello Historic District, on the National Register of Historic Places, includes 42 19th century buildings within 27 city blocks. ”

The Jefferson County Courthouse in Monticello, Florida.

Anne Holt, Executive Director of Main Street Monticello, recently announced special events coming up in October. “Main Street Monticello will present a three day conference to discuss the future of the Floridian Aquifer. Sharing Water: The Floridian Aquifer in Alabama, Georgia and Florida will feature experts discussing the present and future of North Florida and

Georgia’s water supply. A free hands-on water display for children and adults will be located downtown on October 4. The annual Halloween Haunting takes place downtown October 31.”

Long before Spanish explorers came through the area in the 1500s, Native Indians had lived and thrived in the rich farming land that is now known as Jefferson County. In the 17th century, Franciscan missions dotted the area. Established in 1827, the City of Monticello, lies just 28 miles northeast of Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee. Named after the Virginia home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello has served as the county seat since that time, and remains the county’s only incorporated city to date. In the early 1830s Monticello suffered the ravages of the Second Seminole War, and later, the Civil War. In the 1880s, farmers struggling to make a profit from cotton went in search of a more profitable crop. In 1882, seed supplier William Girardeau sent out the first shipment of watermelon seeds, and within 40 years Jefferson County was producing 80 percent of the world’s supply of watermelon. Today, Jefferson County hosts the annual Watermelon Festival every summer in celebration.

For more information about Main Street Monticello or the Florida Main Street program visit or, or

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About Florida Main Street

Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 Florida Main Street communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have created 22,487 jobs, 6,442 new businesses and produced $2.3 billion in reinvestment.