By the late 1790's, the Shawnee had moved west, leaving the land in peace. The promise of rich acreage brought John Winston from Virginia to lay claim to 700 acres, including the present site of the Lake White Club. A survey of this property, conducted by pioneer surveyor John Beasley. was recorded in the Chillicothe land office, February a. 1799. When Pike County was formed in 1815, the deed was transferred to the new county seat.
John Winston died in 1837. His relatives in sophisticated Richmond, Virginia, saw little value in the distant backwoods property and unloaded it for a mere $1,829 (about 52.60 an acre). The new owners. John Row and William Price later sold it to the valley's first millionaire, James Emmitt, whose name is still prominent in the area. A great grandson-in-law of Emmitt's, Lou -Mace Dayton, later farmed the land and thus it was known for years as 'The Dayton Farm". The next owner was Piketon Judge, G.W. Rittenour, who sold the property to former Ohio Lt. Governor George D. Nye for use by Lake White, Inc.
The late Wayne Wick then purchased several acres from the original tract, including the two and one-half acre Club site. The lake was completed in August of 1935, but was expected to take months to fill. However, one night, less than a week later, the area was drenched by a terrific storm. The next morning, occupants of the cabin stared out in amazement at a beautiful and completely filled lake. Shortly afterward, Ohio's Governor White, for whom the Lake White was named, dedicated the new body of water.
The following year, the log cabin kitchen started preparing delicious fried chicken for visitors coming from all over the state to visit the scenic spot. In 1938, it officially took on the name of the Lake White Club. The restaurant (and it's chicken), quickly became so popular that a huge screened-in porch had to be added to the log cabin dining room. This porch which is now enclosed, is the present dining room.
A few years ago the log cabin was converted into an entrance foyer and lounge. One of the first things you see as you enter the front door is a life-size photograph of George D. Nye with his hand extended in welcome As the man most responsible for the development of Lake White, this lounge is dedicated to his memory.
As you pass through the cabin to the dining room, remember you are looking at the original logs cut from the surrounding hills and laid up in the 1820's. Also, notice the large fireplace built entirely of stone taken from Pee Pee Creek.
In 1970, Dick & Audrey Ford purchased the Club and comer the tradition of serving some of the areas best fried chicken, along with a full menu of other delicious dinners.
The club was purchased by Jodi Harmon and Dave Crawford in 2011. Jodi and her husband Lloyd, along with Dave and his wife Pam continued to fry up the delicious chicken and added a deck to the lower lounge.
Kevin and Nichole Ross purchased the club in 2015. In June of that year they decided to close the formal dinning area and completely renovate it. The downstairs lounge remained open while renovations were taking place. On February 14th 2016 the upstairs dining area reopened with a new floor, ceiling, lighting and a beautiful boat bar. Kevin and Nichole along with their executive chefs have continued the tradition of serving fried chicken along with delicious steaks, seafood and much more!
There are more renovations to come including a deck outside of the upstairs dining area, a new boat dock, beach area, amphitheater and much more!
Make sure to come by soon and visit the new and improved Lake White Club!