Driving through Monticello, Florida, on U.S. 90, you might be surprised by the large Brahma bull that sits outside the eponymous Brahman Motel and wonder to yourself how exactly the sacred cow of India made its way to the Florida Panhandle. The answer may surprise you.

That Sounds Like Some Bull!

The first Brahma bull of Indian origin was brought to South Carolina via Great Britain in 1849. However, it wouldn’t be until the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries that Brahma bulls were brought directly from India to Texas and bred with European taurine cows. By the 1930s, the American Brahman had made its way from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Florida Panhandle.

Image: Stuckey’s Corp./Stephanie Stuckey

The Brahman was well-suited for the Florida as it is a breed that does well in the Sunshine State’s hot, humid climate. It’s also somewhat immune to ticks and other native insects and seems to flourish on the natural forage available on Florida’s ranges.

More importantly, however, breeding them with native cows produced bigger, healthier calves. This meant an exceptionally larger amount of beef and a bigger abundance of milk was produced by these Brahman hybrids. In fact, next to fencing, the Brahman bull impacted Florida beef production like nothing before it.

Indeed, the bull had become a local source of pride in the Florida Panhandle, so is it really any wonder that somebody would come along and pay homage to it by naming a motel after it?

The Brahman Motel

Grabbing the bull by the horns, so to speak, somebody did just that around 1970 when they built the Brahman Inn and Restaurant complete with swimming pool.

Image: Stuckey’s Corp./Stephanie Stuckey

Though the swimming pool and restaurant are now gone, the two-story Brahman Motel (as it’s known today) still retains some of its mid-century modern charm. Whether you’re in the area kayaking or rope swinging over the Wacissa River, playing with the lemurs at the North Florida Wildlife Center or the llamas at Aunt Louisa’s Farm, or simply passing through Monticello on your way to other destinations, the Brahman Motel is a great, affordable place to get a good night’s sleep.

You’ll also find the owners to be very friendly people and more than accommodating in helping you get that perfect selfie with their famous roadside attraction – the larger than life Brahma bull that stands in front of the motel.

If you’re interested in staying at the Brahma Motel, it’s located just outside of Monticello, FL at 1530 West Washington Street. Reservations can be made by calling (850) 997-3525

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