Main Street Monticello’s mission is to revitalize business in Monticello and Jefferson County while protecting our historic buildings and culture. We include the small towns of Lloyd, Waukeenah, Wacissa, Lamont and Aucilla in our work. We experienced some success in 2012, bringing in grant money to fund events that attracted people to our town and delivering traffic to our businesses. We plan to do more in 2013, and expect it to be a banner year.
Our members volunteered with us and also helped with events other non-profit groups presented throughout the year. We continued Main Street’s Halloween Fun, Around the Downtown Christmas, Street Flags and Main Street Mixers. With the help of the Jefferson County Historical Association, the Tourist Development Council
The First Floridians Conference resulted in a new archaeological dig in Jefferson County. This site promises to yield important scientific evidence. The Conference also inspired a group of local leaders to form a new non-profit to establish a First Floridians Scientific and Cultural Center in Monticello. The Main Street Board of Directors and some of those same Community leaders are working on the Jackson Square Project. Our goal in Jackson Square is to restore each beautiful old building in the Square to house residences and a thriving downtown business.
Work is progressing steadily on our Old Jail Museum project on Dogwood Street. Grant money will fix the roof and windows, add HVAC, new outside doors and a de-humidifier. A professional photographer will record the prisoner’s writing on the walls. Wonderful volunteers more than match the grant money with the value of many, many hours of work cleaning and improving the building. Plans call for opening the Museum for limited hours this spring.
The Main Street Artisan and Growers Market will be two years old in April and qualify to accept EBT Cards to pay for food. We’ll plan to apply for the USDA Farmer’s Market Grant. Our core of local artists and growers offering products for sale continues to grow and we are seeking a more central and permanent market location where we can build a sustaining customer base. We will open in the Wirick Simmons House Garden on Saturday April 6.
Watch around town for Main Streets’ “Little Free Libraries.” Several individuals and businesses are sponsoring them. The Jefferson County Public Library and many volunteers’ promise to make sure there are always books available and the free libraries will make them convenient.
We will partner with Jefferson County Historical Society and Jefferson Arts to present an eight-week-showing of Florida Wild Flower Paintings by Moran in September and October 2013. Local painters and photographers of wild flowers will show their work at the same time. Our Garden Club will offer Florida Wild Flower seeds for sale.
Main Street Monticello will present Jefferson County Pioneer Journey Stories starting on January 31 in the Jefferson County Courthouse. We will offer other events this year where descendants of territorial settlers will tell how their families came to our area. A historian will tell us about traveling to Monticello by stagecoach.
The next Pioneer Journey Stories event will be on May 2 at the Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall in partnership with the Jefferson County Historical Association
We will scan family pictures into a computer so they can become part of the Florida Memory Collection in the Florida Archives and part of the Jefferson County Genealogy Library’s Collection. These events will be recorded on DVD.
Main Street Monticello leaders will apply the Journey Stories theme to other events throughout 2013. Local veterans will tell how they left Jefferson County to enter the military and traveled to serve our country in other states and countries. Veterans’ and Pioneers’ Journey Stories are our local contribution to the six-week-long Smithsonian Museum traveling Exhibit titled “Journey Stories” that Main Street Monticello and partner groups will bring to the Jefferson Arts Gallery in January and February of 2014.
We’re working hard and planning great events for the future. Definitely a 2015 First Floridians First Americans Conference