Monticello was founded by the White County commissioners in 1834 on a bluff above the Tippecanoe River. They named it after the mansion of
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. It was incorporated as a town in 1862. The county seat grew more rapidly when the railroads came to town before the Civil War. Then the town grew large enough to become a city in 1909, and a mayor was elected. The area around the city became a tourist destination in the 1920s after dams created the twin lakesShafer and Freemanand Ideal Beach was conceived. It was renamed Indiana Beach in the 1950s and became the largest entertainment park in the state. In 1974, a devastating tornado roared through downtown Monticello, killing eight people and destroying a large part of the city. However, the people of Monticello banded together to reconstruct a stronger community. Today the city of Monticello is a thriving, progressive community growing in population and size. About a million tourists come to the area each summer to relax and have fun.
About the Author
The White County Historical Museum and City of Monticello contributed many of the images and provided much of the information for this book. W. C. Madden, an author and historian, offers a thoughtful visual essay on the growth and evolution of the city. Madden has written extensively on Indiana history and baseball. His other books include Baseball in Indianapolis, Then & Now: Indianapolis, Indianapolis in Vintage Postcards, The Indy 500: 1956–1965, Crown Hill Cemetery, and The College World Series.