History and Culture of Waynesville
General “Mad” Anthony Wayne negotiated the Treaty of Greenville between the tribal confederacy and the United States, which was signed on August 3, 1795. The treaty gave the Northwest Territory to the United States and cleared the way for the state of Ohio to enter the Union in 1803. Waynesville was founded in 1797 on the west bank of the Little Miami River by Samuel Heighway and named for General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Heighway platted Waynesville in the fashion of an English village, laying the town out in twelve squares of four acres each. The squares retain their names today as noted by sign posts on each corner.
Waynesville was once an important Quaker settlement. The Miami Monthly Meeting, established in 1803, was the first such gathering in southwestern Ohio. The Accommodation Stage Coach Line ran along Third Street, which was the major street of that time and connected Waynesville with neighboring communities.
Waynesville is known for its antique shops and the Ohio favorite Sauerkraut Festival that attracts more than 350,000 people for the weekend. Waynesville is also known as one of the most haunted cities in Ohio. There are guided ghost tours through Waynesville year-round. During the month of October, you can start your ghost tour right at The Hammel House Inn. The group normally eats and tells stories before the walk on weekends in October. For reservations call Museum at the Friends Home at 513-897-1607 or visit their website www.friendshomemuseum.org/ghost-tours-class-dinners.
For nature lovers, Waynesville offers walking trails along the Little Miami River. Caesar Creek State Park is just a couple miles south on State Route 73, which offers trails, a beach, and a beautiful lake for your enjoyment.
History of Hammel House
The frame portion of this structure may have been used as a tavern as early as 1800. Waynesville held its first election here in 1803, and the current building was constructed as an inn and stage coach stop in 1822. From 1822 to 1841 there were a few owners of the building now known as the Hammel House. In 1841, the building was sold to Enoch Hammel. Mr. Hammel was a prominent figure in the community where he was a candidate for county sheriff and Wayne Township trustee. Even though Mr. Hammel was an upstanding citizen, his establishment did not always reflect that. A local Quaker woman, Mrs. Anna O’Neal, described the activities of the Hammel House as “bacchanalian revelry and ribald conduct which was hourly enacted”. Mrs. O’Neal temporarily resided directly across the street from the Hammel House and she pulled a large wagon in front of her cabin so her children would not witness the daily misbehaving.
The Hammel House was remodeled and refitted by Mr. W. O. Gustin. Gustin added electricity, hot and cold water, and all of the other fine conveniences possible in a first-class country hotel. Mr. Gustin also removed the third floor of the Hammel House, perhaps to dissuade any of the previous activities that Mrs. O’Neal alluded to. The “Gustin House” also boasted a livery & feed stable as Mr. Gustin was an enthusiastic admirer of fine coach horses.
The Hammel House history also includes hosting Charles Dickens, J.D. Rockefeller and U.S. Presidents Martin Van Buren, George W. Bush as well as Vice President Richard Johnson.
The Hammel House Inn has just finished a 2-year renovation that includes new kitchen equipment, updated dining areas with refinished original flooring and fresh paint throughout. The bed and breakfast has 5 updated bedrooms with refinished private bathrooms. There is new flooring in 3 of the rooms with the other 2 having refinished original floors.
The Hammel House Inn is now being maintained by Kevin & Cheri Douglas and James Lester. We look forward to serving all of our guests!