Side A: The Emmitt House. 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: James Emmitt. 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.