January 24th was the anniversary of the Battle of Loxahatchee in 1838.
One of the archaeologists who surveyed the battle site about 15 years ago was my friend Joe Davis. Coincidentally on the battle's anniversary date, and unannounced like I usually do, I was about 400 miles north of here, enjoying lunch made by Joe's wife Kim at the Tupelo Bakery & Café in Monticello, Florida, a few miles east of Tallahassee. Kim is a dynamite chef and culinary artist here. Joe wasn't there at the time, which I really didn't expect since I came in unannounced on my way to other locations.
Folks, if you ever divert to Monticello, this is small-town America at its finest. The café is very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the children to do while Mom or Dad sip on gourmet coffee.
The café is right across the street from the Jefferson County courthouse in Monticello. The silver dome shining on the sunny day is very striking.
Around the corner is the opera house, started about 120 years ago as an effort by one of the town's citizens to bring culture to the small Florida town. It worked very well for a while, until the railroad moved out of town in the 1920s and pulled up the tracks along the way. So it faltered for many years, until the last few years have seen a revival of the town.
The opera house became a storefront, but I read in the local Jefferson county newspaper that in the late 1970s, the building was purchased and again made into an arts center. So culture has returned to town.
I will do a separate entry for the battle of Loxahatchee.