America’s midwest is chalked full of historic places with rich and mysterious pasts. West Point Kentucky’s Ditto House is near the top of the list. But what makes this nearly 200 year old house so special? After a recent visit I was able to come up with 10 historic facts about the Ditto-Prewitt House.
In 1823 Abraham Ditto built the two story brick home at 204 West Elm street in West Point Kentucky. The home later came to be known as the Ditto House but is also recognized as the Riverview Hotel. The federal style home was originally constructed to serve as a hotel.
2. Early days: 1823-1861
The Riverview Hotel initially was a popular Inn for travelers up and down the busy Ohio river corridor. Ditto and his brother in law Samuel Lansdale (who also helped with construction) ran the Hotel. The Riverview Hotel was later converted to the families private residence.
3. Civil War: 1861-1864
When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Kentucky was a caught in the crosshairs of the conflict. The buildings strategic location on a bluff overlooking the Ohio river made it an ideal spot for a military outpost. ‘Uncle Billy’ himself General Richard Sherman even used the grounds as a barracks for sometime.
The 9th Michigan Infantry later used the building as a field hospital for three years during the war. When the nearby Fort Duffield’s soliders fell ill with a respiratory flu that swept the base. The hospital served as the primary care center and many of the soliders of the 9th Infantry spent their last days in the Ditto house.
4. Reed Place Hotel: 1865-1905
At the conclusion of the war the home was purchased by Thomas Reed. The ‘Reed Place’ hotel was in operation until the early 1900’s.
5. Dr J.V. Prewitt: 1905-1913
In about 1905 Dr J.V. Prewitt purchased the home and used it for both his private residence and his medical practice. Unfortunately, the great flood of 1937 washed the building out and rendered it unusable for sometime.
6. World War 1: 1914-1918
The nearby Camp Knox used the building as a canteen.
7. The Great Flood: 1937-?
Unfortunately, in January and February of 1937 a once in a century flood crippled the the Ohio River basin. The hotel suffered major damage, was washed out and rendered unusable for sometime.
8. Ditto House in 2020
Today the once downtrodden hotel is fittingly serving that same purpose again. The inn has been fully restored and is listed as a bed and breakfast and a historic site.
9. Forgotten history
Several facts aren’t concrete about the home including the date built and the official name. There are also multiple accounts of the buildings construction. The first states that Ditto and his brother-in-law Lansdale built the Inn in 1923. The second states that the pair had the Ditto-Prewitt hotel commissioned in 1926. It is worth noting that signs on the property claim hotel was built in 1923. We do know that the home was built between 1823-1826. The address of the building is currently 306 Elm Street.
Source- Ditto Prewitt House Wikipedia
Source- Ditto House Wikipedia
10. Haunted tales and television acclaim
The hotel has been featured on several television shows including Sightings and Louisville Tonight, for it’s vibrant, unique and possibly haunted history. Some even believe that the ghosts of the soliders from the 9th Infantry pace the hallways to this very day.
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