Atop a hill north of Chillicothe sits a stone mansion that overlooks the 2,000-acre estate’s gardens and the inspiration for the Great Seal of Ohio. Built in 1807, the Adena Mansion was home to Ohio’s sixth governor and father of statehood, Thomas Worthington. He lobbied for Statehood through his political ambitions.   

At 19 bedrooms, Governor Worthington, his wife Eleanor, and their 10 children made the Adena Mansion their own. Architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, most famously known for his construction of the U.S. Capitol, designed the mansion with strong geometric proportions to make it the simple yet elegant landmark. Time has been no match for the mansion as it stands in its original Georgian structure with some of the key design elements still intact.   

“His [Gov. Worthington’s] office holds the most history. The coolest part of it is the wallpaper pattern is original,” says the Adena Mansion and Gardens Executive Director Kathy Styer. Archeological investigations revealed the original wallpaper hidden behind a doorway, which led to the reconstruction of the room to pay homage to the original pattern. 

Styer and the Adena Mansion and Gardens Society are dedicated to preserving the history of the mansion and educating the public about its beauty and importance.  

Gardens behind Adena Mansion Photo: Lane Moore

“We have community events to bring people up on the hill…we then also have educational events like a children’s series and an adult series,” Styer says.