The Place to Be is the project of a sociology seminar conducted in 2011–2012 at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. The project was directed by Professor Howard L. Sacks and conducted by students Trudy Andrzejewski, Anna Becker, Sarah Bush, Margaret Higby, Rebecca Katzman, Rachel Keller, Leslie Lasiter, Christian Martinez-Canchola, Kelly McPharlin, Melissa Straus, Daniel Tebes, William Udell, Colin Walker, and Marika West.

Special thanks to all of the community members who so warmly welcomed us and shared their experiences. Additional thanks to Mike Andorfer, Jim Gibson, Janet Jacobs, Janis Johnson, Mark Ramser, Lynne Ricard, and Matt Starr. Unless otherwise noted, photos are courtesy the Rural Life Center.

Design: Nanette Black, N. Black Design Editorial services: Judy Sacks Exhibit fabrication: Applied Graphics Ltd., Central Ohio          Fabricators Film production: I-CONN Video Production

The Place to Be is a presentation of the Rural Life Center at Kenyon College. The Rural Life Center  promotes education, scholarship, and public projects about Knox County, Ohio. In active partnership with the surrounding community, we seek to ensure the vitality of rural life in a changing society. For further information, visit our Web site at

This exhibit is part of an initiative,  Rural by Design, promoting rural sustainability in Knox County and is made possible with sup- port from the McGregor Fund of Detroit, Michigan. The McGregor Fund is a private foundation established in 1925 by gifts from Katherine and Tracy McGregor “to relieve the misfortunes and promote the well-being of mankind.” The foundation awards grants to organizations in the following areas: human services, education, health care, arts and culture, and public benefit. Visit for additional information.

In the 1960s The Birth of Dixie play offered a shared narrative of Mount Vernon’s history that included local nineteenth-century musicians Dan Emmett and the Snowden family.
Widely attended, this 1950s Memorial Day celebration paid tribute to the community’s longstanding tradition of service to the nation.