Monticello's first resident was George Haworth. Haworth came to the area in 1822 to serve as a U.S. liaison agent to local Native American tribes. Haworth did not remain, but in 1829, James A. Piatt purchased Haworth's small log cabin. Soon more settlers arrived.
In 1837, residents decided to form a new town which was christened Monticello – after the home of Thomas Jefferson. Monticello officially became a town on July 1, 1837. Townsfolk held a celebration on July 4.Monticello continued to grow as the population increased over the next decade.
A new county was established on Jan 27 1841: Piatt County - named in honor the first permanent settler, James A. Piatt. As it was the only town in the area at that time, Monticello was named the county seat. The county began legal functions on April 5, 1841 in the "Old Fort." In 1843, the first courthouse was built on land donated by William H. Piatt.
Monticello's star resident arrived in 1885. Dr. William B. Caldwell came to practice medicine in Monticello but his homemade mixture of senna and pepsin brought Monticello to a level of national prominence. The Pepsin Syrup Company was founded in 1893, and became the leading employer in the city for decades until its closure in 1985. （History from 1985 - now）
National Historic District
Monticello Courthouse Square was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Nov 5, 2009, by the National Park Service, for its marvelously intact architecture, original historic features, as well as its association with the history of commerce and government in the community. Visitors to the square will be welcomed by the unique architectural elements and a friendly atmosphere.
Monticello is located just off of Interstate 72 at the junction of CR-5 and IL-105. It is approximately 150 miles southwest of Chicago, 150 miles northeast of St. Louis, and 60 miles west of Springfield.
Monticello Bus Service, Inc. is the premier luxury charter coach service provider for the central Illinois area. They offer charter service for trips originating in the Midwest that have either local or national itineraries. Their fleet consists exclusively of late model Prevost and MCI 55 passenger charter coaches. Among their many features are VCR/DVD monitors, restroom facilities, luxurious interiors, and cleanliness second to none. http://www.monticellobus.com/
Piattran Piatt County Transportation Contact: 217-762-7821
Abe Lincoln Monticello was part of the 8th Judicial Circuit that Lincoln served in from 1847-1859. The Monticello Railway Museum, announced the formal dedication of the Looking for Lincoln wayside storytrail signs are conjunction with their 2009 Railway Days event. The Looking for Lincoln sign tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln promoted and contributed to the expansion of railroads in Piatt County, Illinois. This sign dedication is very unique, symbolic and illustrates Abraham Lincoln's contributions, vision and promotion of building and expanding not only the network of railroads within Illinois, but in linking the west and east coast of the United States with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.
Allerton Park Named one of the 7 Wonders of Illinois by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, Allerton offers 1,500 acres of beautiful, outdoor surroundings. With National Natural Landmark and National Register of Historic Places designations, it is a destination unlike any other.
The Robert Allerton Park  is a 1,517 acre (6.0 km²) park, nature center, and conference center located near Monticello, Illinois on the upper Sangamon River. It has been described as "a vast prairie turned into a personal fantasy land of neoclassical statues, Far Eastern art, and huge European-style gardens surrounding an English Tudor-style. Contact: 217-762-2721
Monticello Sages Homecoming festivities – Every year, Monticello High school has a parade celebrating their homecoming festivities. Friday afternoon, the homecoming parade begins from the high school promptly at noon. Friday evening's festivities will begin in the high school Media Center with the Hall of Fame. At 6:45PM, the festivities continue as everyone proceeds to the football field. For more information call the high school office at 217.762.8511 ext. 1210.
Millionaire Row & Historical Homes
The founders of the Pepsin Syrup , a notable patent medicine company, contributed to the spawn of construction of mansions on North State Street that became known as "Millionaire's Row. South Charter Street: The South Charter Street Historic District represents some of the city's first growth outside of the Original Town plat and was basically the first of the city's premier residential addresses. In contrast to the North State Street Historic District, the architecture of the South Charter Street Historic District is more varied and is generally less high style.
Monticello Railway Museum Contact the museum for more information regarding the events below – www.mmym.org – 992 Iron Horse Place Monticello, IL 61856 Phone: (217) 762-9011
1st Friday on the Square On Fridays, from 5 pm - 9 pm it's Shopping, Dining and more in beautiful downtown Monticello. On the 1st Friday of each month, Monticello invites you to visit the restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops while enjoying a variety of activities.
Barn Tour Every year, Piatt County celebrates its rich agricultural history along a 35-mile historic and scenic route through Goose Creek Township. Guests can visit 20 barns, explore Centennial farms, discover restored pioneer cemeteries and other historic sites including part of a trail traveled by Abraham Lincoln while he practiced law as a circuit-rider throughout Central Illinois (tour subject to change).
Christmas in July Come join the merchants of Courthouse Square for an early look at Christmas. Activities are set for children and adults alike to bring a breath of fresh air to the middle of summer. Contact Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Chocolate Fantasy The Annual Chocolate Fantasy, held just days before Valentine's Day, will be filled with great ideas for all of the special people in your lives. Whether you are buying for your sweetie, mom, dad, teacher, or best friend you will be able to find something for everyone on your list
Farmer’s Market On North State Street, join Monticello’s Main Street Farmer's Market featuring many of your favorite vendors selling seasonal fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, breads, and more.
Garden Walk Annual Monticello Chamber Garden Walk. For tickets, please contact the Chamber Office at (217) 762-7921 - www.monticellochamber.org
May Market You know it's Spring when the Monticello Main Street May Home & Garden Market is around the corner! There are plants, herbs, garden containers, garden accessories, and much more.
Monticello Car show The Monticello Car, Truck and Motorcycle show takes place at the Courthouse Square in downtown Monticello. Judging starts at noon for Best of Show, Best Truck, Best Motorcycle, and distance travelled, and Club participation.
Monticello Celebration That's Main Street’s Annual Monticello Celebration is filled with a great variety of Art and Craft vendors throughout the downtown square. Don’t miss the very popular Pet Parade and Contest or Kid’s Activity Area including a Bounce House, Giant Slide, Obstacle Course and Giant Choo-choo.
The Monticello Country Club A private golf course, located in Monticello has majestic oaks, meandering creeks and ponds providing an excellent setting for this challenging, but enjoyable 18 hole championship course.
Monticello Main Street Ornaments Monticello Main Street is proud to offer a collection of holiday limited edition ornaments, all depicting scenes from historic Monticello. They are hand sculpted in a material called “bonded marble” and then hand-painted in a holiday scene. These ornaments will be offered for sale at most of the restaurants and shops in Courthouse Square in downtown Monticello. You may order your ornament at (217) 762-9318 or email [email protected]
Homecoming festivities – Every year, Monticello High school has a parade celebrating their homecoming festivities. Friday afternoon, the homecoming parade begins from the high school promptly at noon. Friday evening's festivities will begin in the high school Media Center with the Hall of Fame. At 6:45pm, the festivities continue as everyone proceeds to the football field. For more information call the high school office at 217.762.8511 ext. 1210.
Willow Tree Missions Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. Willow Tree Thrift Store has recently become a local drop off point for donations. They have clothing for men, women & children. All the items are donated by the community and returned to the community. The Mission of Willow Tree Inn is to prevail over domestic violence by providing safe shelter and a comprehensive support system of well-trained, caring volunteer advocates equipped to help persons with domestic violence in their lives. We will help them to be aware of their personal options and of the resources available to them, and encourage them to take control of their lives by making healthy decisions regarding themselves and their children.
Monticello was part of the 8th Judicial Circuit that Lincoln served from 1847-1859.
District Marker Location: 40° 5.915′ N, 88° 41.283′ W. Marker is near Monticello, Illinois, in Piatt County at the intersection of County Route 300E and County Route 2100N, on the left when traveling south on County Route 300E. Marker is in this post office area: Monticello IL 61856, United States of America.
The Looking for Lincoln Activities: The Monticello Railway Museum, announced the formal dedication of the Looking for Lincoln wayside storytrail signs are conjunction with their 2009 Railway Days event. The Looking for Lincoln sign tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln promoted and contributed to the expansion of railroads in Piatt County, Illinois. This sign dedication is very unique, symbolic and illustrates Abraham Lincoln's contributions, vision and promotion of building and expanding not only the network of railroads within Illinois, but in linking the west and east coast of the United States with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.
The Robert Allerton Park is a 1,517 acre (6.0 km²) park, nature center, and conference center located near Monticello, Illinois on the upper Sangamon River. The park and manor house were laid out and built by industrialist Robert Allerton, who gave the complex to the University of Illinois in 1946. The Allerton Natural Area within the park is a National Natural Landmark. As of 2007, the park was used by approximately 100,000 visitors per year. It has been described as "a vast prairie turned into a personal fantasy land of neoclassical statues, Far Eastern art, and huge European-style gardens surrounding an English Tudor-style.
Named one of the 7 Wonders of Illinois by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, Allerton offers 1,500 acres of beautiful, outdoor surroundings. With National Natural Landmark and National Register of Historic Places designations, it is a destination unlike any other. It is also on the American Institute of Architects’ List of 150 Great Places in Illinois.
This picturesque setting includes: • Extensive formal gardens • More than 100 outdoor sculptures and garden ornaments • Natural areas including the Sangamon River, floodplains, lowland and upland forests, a meadow and a 30-acre demonstration prairie • 14 miles of interpretive hiking trails • A century-old, Georgian-style mansion with reflecting pond
An ideal place for public enjoyment and outdoor recreation, Allerton is also a distinctive venue for meetings, conferences and retreat, as well as the perfect place for weddings and special events.
Valentine Park - Located on northeast Cemetary Road (County Forest Preserve Park) This quiet park features a 1/2 mile nature trail and is a relaxing spot to picnic and birdwatch.
Lodge Park - Located 1 1/2 miles north of Exit 166 I-72. County Forest Preserve Park. 500 acres along the Sangamon River offers primitive camping, picnic tables, playground equipment. It is the site of the annual fireworks celebrations on July 3.
Area Campgrounds Lodge Park - (217) 762-4531 Friends Creek Park (rural Cisco) - (217) 795-8361
Agri-Tours: Piatt County and Monticello have a long agricultural heritage with some of the richest farmland in the world. Corn and soybeans are the major crops but the area is also home to berry, apple, pumpkin, and Christmas tree farms. Tour group itineraries are available.
WackyNackies  – Featuring: Gourmet Foods, Handbags, Home Décor, Jewelry & Accessories, Children’s Gifts, and Bath & Body. With vendors like Vera Bradley, Oka B, Hotflops, Gianna Rose Atelier, Vietri, BeanPod, Root & Tyler Candles, Taggies, Webkinz and more. (217) 762-2022
Boka Shoppe  (flowers) – Boka Shoppe is a family owned and operated Business proudly offering traditional, personal, unique and thoughtful gift's. (888) 871-4811
Spirit of Monticello  (Apparel)Spirit of Monticello features fashion designers Santiki, Bella and Blue Sky! Partnering with their sister business Spirit Screen-printing, Spirit of Monticello can take your custom design to the next level in apparel! (217) 762-7747
Celebrations (Wedding Invitations) Celebrations offers a full line of personalized accessories and invitations that will add a special touch to any wedding reception. (217) 762-3252
Pearls & More
Prarie Fire Grass
Out of the Blue
Cowbells & Moon Tales
Skinner Coachhouse Antiques
Cedar Lake Gardens & Gifts
Best Western Monticello Gateway Inn - 805 Iron Horse Pl, Monticello, IL - (217) 762-9436
Foster Inn - 1414 N Market St, Monticello, IL - (217) 762-9835
The Monticello Chamber of Commerce offers wide opportunities for business promotion and tourism networking within the great community of Monticello, Illinois. The Chamber is the voice of the businesses and strives to promote tourism opportunities for all.