How Mt. Vernon got its name

Have you ever wondered why Mount Vernon originally got its name? Somewhat ironically, most of Mount Vernon’s residents live in a very flat part of the city without any mountains in sight. Because of this, it’s only natural to wonder where the name comes from. Like many parts of the US, its name is deep rooted in history and its backstory is genuinely very interesting.

Mount Vernon, Illinois, was named after Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The original Mount Vernon estate was located in Virginia and was named by Washington’s half-brother, Lawrence Washington, in honor of his former commander in the British Navy, Admiral Edward Vernon. The name “Mount Vernon” has since become synonymous with George Washington and his legacy, and many towns and cities across the United States have adopted the name as a tribute to the first President. In the case of Mount Vernon, Illinois, the name was likely chosen to honor Washington and to reflect the town’s admiration for his leadership and contributions to American history.

Here’s a breakdown of the naming history:

  1. 1674: The land where Mount Vernon, Virginia, would be built, was originally known by its Native American name, “Epsewasson.”
  2. 1743: George Washington’s half-brother, Lawrence Washington, inherited the land and renamed it “Mount Vernon” after Admiral Edward Vernon, his former commander in the British Navy.
  3. 1817: When Mount Vernon, Illinois, was founded, it was named after George Washington’s estate, paying homage to the first president and national hero.