Side A: Built for Waverly industrialist James Emmitt in 1861, The Emmitt House was partly the work of carpenter Madison Hemings, who claimed parentage by President Thomas Jefferson. It served as a tavern and store for travelers on the Ohio-Erie Canal that passed directly in front of the hotel. The Emmitt House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as a key part of the Waverly Canal District, which encompasses many of the canal-era residential and commercial buildings in the downtown area. It underwent a year-long restoration project in 1989 that retained its historical flavor and design. It continues to provide hospitality to both residents and travelers.
Side B: The son of German and Irish immigrants who settled here in 1816, James Emmitt was a prominent figure in the economic growth of Waverly and the lower Scioto valley for much of the 19th century. After the Ohio-Erie Canal opened in 1832, Emmitt prospered by shipping grain to Cleveland, and the early success of his distilleries in Waverly and Chillicothe led to far-reaching business interests. Using his political influence, he successfully campaigned to move the county seat from Piketon to Waverly in 1860, building the courthouse, a road between Waverly and Piketon, and a bridge over the Scioto River with his own money. Emmitt served in the Ohio Senate from 1867 to 1870. His home stands three blocks north.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, The Pike County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and The Ohio Historical Society