By the time Nelson Waite was 20, he had been indentured into the tanning trade, apprenticed to builder Orin Porter and earned both a certificate and a reputation as a house painter. In 1848, however, he gave it all up and went to find his fortune in the California gold fields. He did not find gold, but did make a minor fortune shooting game and supplying meat to prospectors. In 1853, he returned to Hudson, married Cynthia Post, bought property and, in 1857, contracted with his former master, Orin Porter, to build a house on this spot. He suffered from recurrent Gold Fever, however, which kept him constantly on the road between Ohio and California. He had just returned from his last prospecting trip when he died here in 1904 at the age of 85. Cynthia Post Waite continued to live in the house for a total of 67 years.

The house has a wide overhang, brackets, dentils and an ornate chimney with a rooftop balustrade. The one story south wing is an addition; a second floor has been added to the rear wing. The foundation is sandstone.

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