Established in 1792 and the seat of Montgomery County, Mount Sterling (population 5,876) is a gateway to the Appalachians and the Bluegrass Region and became a prosperous commercial center.
The city celebrates its heritage in two major annual festivals. The Little Mount Heritage Festival, which began a few years ago, includes heritage craft demonstrations, living history encampments and re-enactments, and walking tours.
October Court Day is one of Kentucky's oldest traditional festivals that began in the early 19th century, when meetings of the county court became a focal point for local residents to sell and trade goods. That tradition continues today.
Downtown Mount Sterling contains well-preserved 19th- and 20th-century buildings, including Hobbs Block on Main Street. Key to revitalizing downtown, this project entailed rehabilitating 10 buildings into retail space and elderly and handicapped housing.
Mount Sterling has two districts and 14 properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Designated a Preserve America Community in April 2004.