Monticello, named after the home of Thomas Jefferson, was officially founded on July 1st, 1837. The town grew as settlers decided to build their homes over the next decade. In 1841, due to the residents not wanting to travel so far to get to the county seat, Piatt County was established with Monticello being named its county seat. Due to the many businesses being established, most notably Pepsin, the town continued to flourish over the next 100 years. Today, Monticello is a proud community known for its safety, excellent school district and is considered one of the best places to raise a family in Illinois.
Monticello Illinois Parks and Recreation
There are many well – maintained and preserved parks around town that include rustic trails, bike paths and dog parks. Residents can also take advantage of the upscale driving range in town that features sand traps, target green areas, and natural grass areas. There is also an outdoor family aquatic center, a zero-depth pool fully equipped with water slides and a lap swim area. Children in town can also participate in the many football, soccer and baseball/tee-ball leagues.
The Monticello Railroad Museum was founded in 1966 and has been offering old – fashioned train rides to families since. The museum offers rides on both steam and diesel locomotives and is open to the public May through September. Other events at the museum are held year-round, such as the Polar Express, lunch with Santa and a fireworks ride, etc.
School/Health/Transportation of Monticello Illinois
Monticello Community Unit School District #25 serves all of the children in Monticello. The highly-rated district has about 1,565 students between three elementary, one middle and one high school. It is considered to be in the top 35 schools in Illinois, as well as the top 50 for athletes. Overall, it has been graded an A. Also located less than 30 minutes from town, in Urbana/Champaign, is The University of Illinois. The university is considered to be in the top 50 public institutes in the country and is most commonly known for its engineering program and research history. It is also a part of the highly competitive BIG 10 Conference.
Kirby Medical Center is the main hospital in Monticello, which includes a 24 – hour emergency room, oncology clinic and physical therapy center, among other quality services. When needing to get out of town, residents can take advantage of the University of Illinois - Willard Airport, which connects to both O’Hare International and Dallas Fort – Worth. From these airports, passengers can get to anywhere in the world. Travelers can also take the Amtrak out of Champaign when traveling doesn’t require a flight.
Monticello Illinois Shopping/Dining Options
Monticello is full of wonderful restaurants both for families and for a night out. Bergie's Place offers the best weekend brunch in town and The Brown Bag Deli Restaurant is a must for lunch and homemade pies that are one-of-a-kind. For dinner that can serve the whole family, look no further than Filippo's, an authentic Italian experience, and Fieldhouse 219, a classic burger restaurant with options to everyone. For something different, Monarch Brewing Company offers a vast variety of craft beers and a full lunch and dinner menu.
There are also many unique boutiques and shops in town. Monticello Mercantile is an upscale boutique that sells everything from unique baby clothing, jewelry, kitchen and drinkware accessories and much more. For upscale men’s and women’s clothing, Leevy Tree has been serving Monticello and the surrounding areas since 2017. For those looking for home goods, Out of the Blue sells one-of-a-kind, hand made pottery that can’t be found elsewhere. Also, just a short distance from town are the Tuscola Outlet Shops, an outlet mall that carries national retailers such as Carter’s, American Eagle Outfitters and Coach.
Living in Monticello Illinois
With a population of 5,745, Monticello has seen an increase of 10.4% in the last 10 years. The current average home value is $170,500, which has appreciated by 2.1%. Both the average commute time and cost of living are significantly lower than the national average and job growth has been steadily increasing as well. Due to its wonderful school district, overall affordable cost to raise a family and proud sense of community, Monticello real estate continues to be highly sought after in the Champaign – Urbana metro area.