Mount Vernon is the county seat of Rockcastle County and is located at the junction of US 25 and US 150, two miles west of I-75. Nationally known for The Renfro Valley Barn Dance, Mt. Vernon is also home to the county’s two industrial parks, thriving commercial districts surrounding the two interstate exits, and a downtown historic section with delightful shopping opportunities Mt. Vernon is also home to the Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center, a nationally renowned healthcare facility.
The area was first settled in 1790 around a feature called Spout Springs. Much of the area was originally swampland. The settlement was named for George Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon. The Wilderness Road was routed through in 1792, and was the principal settlement when Rockcastle County was created in 1810.
In 1883, a Louisville & Nashville railroad branch was built through the town, connecting it to Louisville and to Knoxville. The county’s first newspaper, the Mountain Signal, began publication in 1887. Although still a largely rural town and county, the construction of I-75 in the 1970s has drawn industry to the area, and the population has increased about 50% since 1970.