123 West Main St
Somerset, Ohio Map
Scott Snider, Manager
"Many people have asked why Clay Haus was named as such. I named the restaurant after my father, Irwin Clay Priest; Haus is a Pennsylvania Dutch word. My husband is Pennsylvania Dutch, thus the Clay Haus."
"The restaurant is a structure built from 1812 to 1820. It is similar to houses one would find in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania around the early 1800's. The Pennsylvania Dutch people settled Somerset (Middletown) in 1808. They traveled by covered wagon down the Zane Trace Trail (Route 22). Somerset probably began as a stopping point between Zanesville and Lancaster for travelers. The town grew rapidly and became the county seat for a time. Clay Haus is located on the Zane Trace highway. Looking out the window well in the front of the Clay Haus, one can see that the street was probably four feet lower when this house was built. Here one entered the keeping room. In this room, George Jackson (owner of the Clay Haus) dined with his cousin President Andrew Jackson. They feasted on wild game purchased at Pig Foot Square, just one block west. Henry Clay, a noted statesman, visited here on his way to the Breech bill Hotel (Somerset Pharmacy) just two doors east. Other owners of the Clay Haus were Dr. Jesse Morris, Frederick Mains (tinsmith), and William Jackson (Civil War veteran, noted for his fife playing in the Memorial Day parade). General Phillip Sheridan also called Somerset his home. On the north side of the street opposite Clay Haus three doors east, Phil worked as a clerk in a dry goods store when he was a boy."
"Take a moment as you sit by our hearth to let your mind wander back to pioneer days. To the days of a little Pennsylvania Dutch village nestled in the wilderness. You may hear it; the past reaching out to the future."
-Betty Priest Snider