When pioneers first ventured off the Wilderness Road in the late 1700s looking for a more direct route to Louisville, they came upon a pleasant area between the Salt River and Floyd's Fork. It provided rich soil for farmland, virgin timber for building, plentiful game, and numerous springs. As roads from Bardstown to Louisville and Shepherdsville to Shelbyville and Taylorsville were forged, the area was nicknamed "The Crossroads." In 1818, the community was named first Mt. Vernon and then Mt. Washington. The town grew tremendously, outgrowing all of its neighboring cities in Bullitt County for decades. As many as five hotels existed in the mid-1800s, and a private school named Mt. Washington Academy, greatly praised as "The Athens of this Place," drew students from miles away.