Fourteen miles to the southwest of Mount Vernon is Centerburg, situated in the geographical center of Ohio. Laid out by Stephen Sutton and Jacob Houck in 1830. Centerburg is served by three highways: U.S. 36, S.R. 13 and 314. There are six churches, a modern school system, a public library and a well-equipped volunteer fire department. The 1,323 people of Centerburg are served by a mayor council form of government. The village Memorial Park has a baseball field, tennis courts, playgrounds and a lighted athletic field.
In the eastern portion of Knox County, Danville is 15 miles from Mount Vernon. The village of 1,001 was established in 1923 when the villages of Danville and Buckeye City voted to merge and form the present community. Danville was named for a veteran of the War of 1812. The village is located on U.S. 62 and is served by five Protestant and one Catholic Church, a branch of the Knox County Public Library, two banks, numerous retail stores and a progressive school system. The community includes several small industries, and many farm operations.
Located seven miles north of Mount Vernon, Fredericktown was founded in 1807 by John Kerr as a mill site and named for Fredericktown, Maryland. This community of 2,443 people is a growing industrial area as well as an important market center for the agricultural community.
Fredericktown is located at the intersection of S.R. 13 and 95 and is served by a modern school system, five churches, a branch of the Knox county Public Library and a number of clubs and organizations. Among its diversified industries, Fredericktown is home to Kokosing Construction Company. Ward-Kraft of Ohio, County Manufacturing, IMESCO, Divelbiss Corporation, J.B Foote Foundry, Dana Corporation, Edwards Sheet Metal, Gregg Manufacturing and Conceptual Products.
Located just four miles east of Mount Vernon, Gambier is the home to one of America’s most distinguished liberal arts colleges. Kenyon College was founded in June, 1824, by Philander Chase, the first Episcopal Bishop of Ohio. Having secured the necessary finances from wealthy donors in England, Bishop Chase named the college after Lord Kenyon and the Village after Lord Gambier. On Gambier Hill (elevation 1,200 feet) overlooking the Kokosing Valley, he built Old Kenyon, the historic stone structure which was one of the first Gothic structures in America. Kenyon is one of the oldest colleges west of the Alleghenies and offers a four-year academic program in the arts and sciences.
Located on S.R. 229 and 308, the village of 2,073 is governed by a mayor and council. A part of the Mount Vernon School System, Gambier has an elementary school for grades 1-5 and a day school. A locally operated bank serves the community. The Kenyon College bookstore is open 365 days a year and is the focal point of the business district.