The Town of Waverly was first established in 1854, and became an incorporated town in Sussex County, Virginia in 1879. Legend has it that Waverly was named for Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels. General William Mahone, who engineered the building of the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad, brought his wife Otelia with him one day as he traveled to each station along the railroad. Otelia, an avid reader of Sir Walter Scott’s novels, and was reading one of his novels as she and her husband traveled. Tasked with naming each of the railroad stations, General Mahone sought the assistance of Otelia upon arriving at each station. Legend has it that several stations were affectionately named after places and characters from Otelia’s beloved Scott novels. Waverly was in reference to Scott’s Waverley novels.
The Town of Waverly’s population steadily grew over the years, reaching a height of 2,500 residents in the 1970’s & 80’s. Waverly’s Main Street downtown is mix of modern and classical Revival buildings.