Mount Vernon, Illinois, is a smallish town of about 16,000 people. Aside from a courthouse which was the stage for one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, there's not really much there.

The local economy is more or less propped up by two things: a General Tire manufacturing plant, and the wide array of hotels, fast food joints, convenience stores, and the other sundry things you often find near an Interstate highway. Mt. Vernon is near where Interstates 57 and 64 cross, making it a somewhat convenient waypoint for travellers in all directions.

Mt. Vernon is about 75minutes east of Saint Louis, Missouri; 90 minutes or so west of Evansville, Indiana; about 45 minutes north of Carbondale, Illinois, and about 45 minutes south of Effingham, Illinois, all places where something resembling civilization can occasionally be found.

Just moved from over here as part of the Great Geography Renaming. If you've downvoted it before, you don't need to do so again. :)