The land and the house of 5 Corners Bed & Breakfast has a rich history that goes as far back as 1818 when one of Amherst’s first residents, Josiah Harris, built a log cabin on the property then known as Lot #1. Harris later donated part of his land to the city to serve as the site for the Town Hall. The original cabin was torn down and became the Braun homestead.
Wilhelm (William) Braun arrived in America at the young age of 18 immigrating from Bremen, Germany in 1852. Some years later, he settled in Amherst and began to brew beer using the high-quality spring water he found on the northwest corner of his property. This spring became the centerpoint of town and even served as the location for the town's first Fourth of July Celebration. Guests of 5 Corners can still see water flowing from this spring today.
Historians can place the Braun homestead on maps as early as 1874. Besides the house, Braun also built a sandstone structure on the hillside that served as tasting room for the brewery. The remnants of this structure can still be seen today. In addition, three large caverns were constructed and used to store beer. The caves are lined with Amherst sandstone and feature 8-10 foot high ceilings.
Records indicate that the brewery stopped producing beer around 1894. The caves were sealed during the Great Depression for safety reasons. The caves were unearthed in March of 2013 as city workers were improving the infrastructure for Amherst’s growing community. Currently, the caves are buried on property owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad and have been resealed to preserve their authenticity.
In years since the brewery, the Braun homestead has served as many things including a church, beauty parlor, residential home and today as 5 Corners Bed & Breakfast.
5 Corners opened for business in 2007 and has since welcomed over 5,000 guests from over a dozen countries and from 43 of the 50 states.
Thank you to the Amherst Historical Society, Matt Nahorn, The New Indian Ridge Museum and Saftey Service Director Mark Costilow for the use of their photographs.
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