A very short history about the founding of Monticello, New York

We know that there are some of you who read the blog who are from outside our local area. There are also plenty who live near by. We are the Rental Center of Monticello and we’ve been telling you plenty about equipment rental and about our business in previous blog posts. We thought we might close out this month by telling you about the “of Monticello” part.

For many, “Monticello” is the name of Thomas Jefferson’s home (back in the time when many people named their houses, not just their kids and pets!). It is not cosmic coincidence that our village is named Monticello – there is a direct connection, although, his home is pronounced traditionally, as in “chello” for the last two syllables. We locals pronounce it “sello.”

We’re not a big town – as I said above, we are a “village” and we have a population a little under 7,000, but we are the county seat of Sullivan County!

Monticello came about through a turnpike construction project in 1801. Two brothers, Samuel F. Jones and John Patterson Jones, were tasked with finding the best route for the road. As part of the process they found some land they really liked, on a hunch that the area along the turnpike might become a county seat.

In 1803, John brought 11 men to start working on a sawmill. The following spring, the final route was determined and the brothers named the town. Jefferson himself had invented the word from the Latin for “heavenly mountain.” The brothers were so focused on the municipality that they laid out streets and a central park before they ever built a building. Well planned it was because the turnpike ended up running through the middle of the town!

The brothers were early believers in the code of, “if you build it, they will come” and offered 1-acre lots to anyone who would build and settle there. The town grew, John Jones became the first county clerk and later a state senator. Samuel became one of the first county judges and was later the first postmaster of Monticello.

There’s plenty more to tell you but that’s a good start. And now, when you want to rent from us you’ll know a little bit more about the, “rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to famously say!