Mount Vernon is blessed with a unique mixture of architectural treasures that reflect the town's prosperity through nearly two centuries. The walking tour of historic homes will show some of Mount Vernon's most gracious structures. The tour will provide a wealth of information about Mount Vernon's architectural history and some of the characters that have lived within these lavish buildings.

The tour includes three streets that have been registered as historic districts through the National Register of Historic Places, North Main Street, East High Street, and East Gambier Street. It is obvious that the people, who own these homes, take great pride in them, making sure that the exteriors are as pristine as their lawns.

East Gambier Street

East Gambier Street is the first feature in the booklet, with over twenty listings this street is one of the most beautiful in the city. One of the first homes on the street is the Wolverton House, located at 106 East Gambier. This home is reminiscent of the huge antebellum plantation homes of the South. With its Ionic columns and gabled roof, it is a perfect example of the Greek Revival style of architecture. At 401 East Gambier is the Stamp Home, built in the 1840's with simple but elegant lines, this house is illustrative of Federal style architecture. The home is accentuated by the gardens of the current residents. Literally across the street is the Vance House, home to S.A. Vance. Vance, a retired sea captain, built the Gothic Revival Home in 1860.

East High Street

East High Street is the second feature in the booklet. With 32 listings this tour begins at the square. The Columbus Ewalt House, at 400 East High Street was built in 1906 in the Neo-Classical style of architecture. Ewalt a prominent judge died in 1942 and in 1947 the home was purchased and made into a nunnery. Further up the street past the Koons House, is the McIntire House, built in 1874 by Alfred R. McIntire, the home is an excellent example of the Second Empire style of architecture with its tell tale mansard roof. The McIntire family owned the home until the early 1960's. The Capitola, an apartment building that was built in the 1840's was moved in the early part of this century to three different locations. The central portion still known as the Capitola is located at, 307 East High Street and is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. The east wing and west wings were moved to different sections of the town and became private residences.

North Main Street

North Main Street is the third feature in the booklet. With 20 listings this tour begins at the square and includes three homes east of Main Street by two blocks, Round Hill, the Curtis-Seebarger House and the Curtis House. The sixth stop on the North Main Street tour is the Israel House, built in 1838, this unique one and a half story home was home to Samuel and Elizabeth Israel. Samuel Israel was a brick mason who studied law in the evenings and eventually became an attorney. Round Hill, located at the end of Lamartine Street, is perhaps Mount Vernon's most elite residence. Originally built in the 1850's Round Hill is the perfect example of the Italian Villa style of architecture. The parlor is 50 feet long and features a large bay window. The entryway is adorned with marble floors and boasts seventeen feet high ceilings. The dining room, renovated in the early part of the twentieth century is modeled after Theodore Roosevelt's dining room. Round Hill remains a private residence to this day.

For More Information

For a copy of the Mount Vernon Historic Homes Walking Tour contact the Knox County Historical Society Museum at 393-5247 or stop by at 875 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon.