The old Monticello Academy was built in 1890 at 319 College Street. This building served as the Monticello High School until 1956 when the middle and high school moved to a new building. At that time all the rural county elementary schools were consolidated to this building. When the school was demolished in 1921, the materials in this building were hauled to Mason Street and used to build the Jasper County Training School. Henry Jordan was the architect for the current building which was constructed on the original site in 1922.
The school was used for the elementary and high school. In 1956, the middle and high schools moved and the building was used for grades one through five. When the schools of Jasper County GA integrated in 1970, the building housed grades kindergarten, one and two. In September 1975 the school vacated the building.
The Jasper County Historical Foundation acquired the building in 1979 and has since operated it. For many years it was known as The Civic Center or Community Center. The Older American Council used the lower floor for a number of years. The auditorium has always been used for plays, pageants, meetings and other productions as it was the only auditorium in Jasper County. The new high school now has a large auditorium. Over the years, space in the building has been used for community clothes closet, exercise and dance classes, churches and various other activities.
In 2005, the Jasper County Historical Foundation received an inheritance from the Thomas Persons estate. The income from the trust formed with this money has made it possible to restore the building. The renovations have included a new roof, drainage system, lighting in the auditorium, a handicap accessible entrance and elevator, cosmetic work including paint and flooring, remodeled kitchen with demonstration area, new windows, a sign and landscaping. Work on the property will be ongoing.
The fall of 2017 will begin renovation of the middle floor including the auditorium. JCHF has been awarded a DOT matching Grant to create the Seven Islands Trail Visitors Center, an area to highlight the main thoroughfare for commodities trading through the county and middle Georgia. The Center will also include several multi-use rooms for exhibits, archives, displays, meetings, etc.