Adena was the home of Thomas Worthington, one of Ohio's first two United States senators. Worthington also served as the sixth governor of the state.
Adena is a Hebrew word that means "delightful place." Worthington built his home on five thousand acres of land near Chillicothe. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect who helped design the White House and the Capitol in Washington, DC, designed Adena.
The main house was completed in 1807. For the period, the house was impressive. It included large spaces for public events, such as entertaining Worthington's many guests. These rooms were decorated to exhibit the Worthington's wealth and influence. The private portions of the house were smaller and simpler, but for the time, they still exhibited the Worthington's more affluent lifestyle. Latrobe also included a kitchen, offices, and storage rooms in Adena, facilities usually found in outbuildings during this period. Worthington also planted extensive gardens around the home. Some people believe that the home's eastern view served as the model for Ohio's Great Seal, and while rumors to this effect have existed since the nineteenth century, many scholars disagree.
Because Worthington was one of Ohio's most important political leaders in the late 1700s and the early 1800s, important visitors often visited Adena. Among them were Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, James Monroe, and Henry Clay. Adena was a luxurious home in rural Ohio in the early 1800s.
Adena is an Ohio History Connection site and has been restored. Five other buildings on the estate have also been restored or reconstructed.