Monticello, where? Isn’t that where Thomas Jefferson lives? Wrong Monticello. Thomas Jefferson’s home is in Charlottesville, Va., but that doesn’t mean that his home’s namesake in Florida isn’t connected. Read on to find out how.
The Saving Shenanigans Trilogy is set in Monticello, FL., and I thought it might be fun to share some facts about this historical town near Tallahassee, our state’s capital. I had a very special friend who settled there, and I still visit her family regularly. I am invited back frequently to hold book signings at Two Sister’s New Beginnings, a wonderful store you should visit if you get there.
So…What is this little town all about:
- The first Europeans passed through what is now Jefferson County in 1528
- Primarily occupied by Native Americans…Miccosukees, a branch of the Creeks who became part of the Seminole group until American Settlers entered the area at the beginning of the 19th Century
- Jefferson County was named after Thomas Jefferson
- Monticello, named for T.J.’s home in Virginia, is the county seat for Jefferson County
- The County Courthouse was built at the turn of the 20th Century
- Has the Perkins Opera House built in the 1890 that is still used today
- Home to the Jefferson County Jailhouse built in 1909. The first floor was living quarters for the sheriff with the inmates housed upstairs
- Home to some great Bed and Breakfast Hotels – check them out
- John Denham House
- Avery Clark House
- Daffodale Estate
- Has the reputation of being one of the most haunted historical cities in the south
When I began to write the Shenanigans series, I wanted a small town where I could create characters that needed something to believe in. Something that would pull them together and help them all become stronger and grow as a family and as a community. After visiting my dear friend in Monticello, I knew I’d found my spot. Plenty of quirks to make it fun, a few ghosts to keep things interesting, and lots of home town spunk. The bar Shenanigans is fictional of course, but I know exactly where it would have been had it been real. Some of the homes described in the books are based on actual homes I’ve seen and been in. The bed and breakfast mentioned was patterned after one I stayed in while I was visiting.
If you’re rolling through north Florida and are near the state capital of Tallahassee, Monticello is only about 20 miles northeast. Stop by. It’s full of history and small town quaintness that will have you itching to find a home within Jefferson County’s soft rolling hills and planting your own garden.
AND…If you happen to be rolling through on October 22, stop in at Two Sisters New Beginnings where I’ll be having a book signing.
If you want more information about Mabe, Meg and Mara the three sisters who fight to save their Irish pub from the mob and deal with the other problems life throws at them check out Books by Kelly.
If you visit, let me know what you thought.