city located near the center of Jefferson County, Illinois, United States

Mount Vernon is a city in Illinois.



Abraham Lincoln used to argue cases here at times in his younger attorney days, as Mount Vernon featured as the Illinois state district court. More recently, it was a rail car and locomotive production hub.

Get in

Map of Mount Vernon (Illinois)

Interstate 57 and Interstate 64.

Get around

  • Mitchell Museum and Cedarhurst Arts Center, 2600 E Richview Rd, local nostalgia evoking southern Illinois life and foofoo stuff. +1 618-268-7400. Free.
  • Jefferson County Historical Village, 1411 N 27th St. A recreated living history pioneer museum. +1 618-246-0033
  • 1 The Goshen road. original trail of westward expansion to cross across ohio and mississippi. Goshen Road started as a natural, or pioneer, trace: a route that was used by Native Americans and migrating animals. The Goshen Road was an important route for early settlers in Illinois in the early 1800’s. It extended over one hundred fifty miles from Old Shawneetown on the Ohio River to near Edwardsville, Illinois near the Mississippi. Shawneetown was the site of natural salt springs, where native Americans trekked to get the salt they needed. Later, the pioneers turned the springs into a profitable business operation where the water was boiled off to capture the salt. Nearby Equality was the site of the “Old Slave House” where slaves were used in the business. Though Illinois was a free state at the time, there was a special provision to allow slaves in that location. Salt was used as a condiment, but more importantly was used as a preservative in the days before refrigeration. Tons were needed for that purpose.

    It is generally accepted that this began as a native American trail, winding through woods and prairie and crossing the many streams along the way. There is evidence of trade being carried on along the track as early as the 1700’s and even before. In 1808, this was officially charted as a wagon road but the actual route changed over time, and today it is difficult to know where it really ran.

    In Jefferson County, there are a few places where you can see traces of this early thoroughfare. There is a historic marker near the Jefferson County Historical Village on North 27th Street in Mt. Vernon, but it was moved from its original location because of road construction. There is another marker at the Little Grove Christian Church just south of Walnut Hill, as that church was built on the Goshen Road in 1838. Walnut Hill was called Farmington back then, and all along this tract of land were settlers’ homes. There are several areas where modern roads follow the exact route of the Goshen Road but it is difficult to see. Modern progress has just about erased the last clues to its existence. Over the years, dozens if not hundreds of artifacts have turned up, like clay pipes, bullets, and metal buckles — the only hard evidence of the travels of hundreds of people who worked their way across the wild prairies of Illinois.







Go next

Routes through Mount Vernon
UrbanaSalem  N   S  MarionSikeston
St. LouisO'Fallon  W   E  → Jct   to EvansvilleFerdinandLouisville

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