Begun in the 1840s and completed in 1852, Waverley is distinguished by the immense octagonal rotunda which projects through the roof as a cupola. This structure combines ornament and technology in the tradition of Jefferson: the varied decorative treatment of each room is artistic and the lighting system, using gas manufactured on the site, was scientific.
The antebellum home was originally owned by George Hampton Young, a colonel from Georgia. At one point, the Waverley plantation was independent, providing its own produce and meat, textiles, and energy. The mansion fell into disrepair following the end of the Young family line in 1913, but was restored by the Robert Snow family beginning in 1962.