Prior to January 27th, 1789, the land for many miles around what is now known as Bristol Center, was the hunting grounds of the Iroquois Confederacy consisting of six Indian nations:  Cayuga, Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora.

She’s Got Good Bone Structure

Land sold by the Indians on that date to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, land speculators from Massachusetts, became Ontario County.  The County at that time of purchase, extended from Lake Ontario to the North, Lake Erie to the West, the Pennsylvania border to the South, and Onondaga County to the East.

The town of Bristol, one of the original towns in Ontario County, was created at the time of the purchase by Phelps and Gorham.

In 1794, Ephraim Wilder purchased four hundred acres of land from Codding, the original purchaser of the land from Phelps and Gorham.  It is assumed that the original section of the inn and tavern was constructed in 1795.  Hence the name 1795 Acorn Inn.

Major additions were made in 1814, 1888 and 1894.  Extensive renovations were made in 1989 to ready the Inn as a Bed & Breakfast.  Since taking over the Inn in 2004, Sheryl continues to renovate and upgrade as needed.  Visit the white photo album in the Gathering Room for a chronicle of many of the Inn’s renovations since 1989.  If only the studs could talk…

The building has been used for many purposes including an inn and tavern, carriage and wagon shop, blacksmith, boot and shoe store, candy shop, millinery shop, billiard parlor, dance hall (known as Hotchkiss Hall), offices of the town doctor, grocery store and antique shop.  The Town Board used to meet in the building and the Town Band practiced here.  The Town Library was first located here.  At one time, it was referred to as the Beehive Building by the locals because a different business was located in each of its fourteen rooms.

In 1988 the previous owners, Joan and Louis Clark, purchased the building and started major renovations to convert the building for use as a large antiques and decorative art gallery.  Acorn Antiques opened for business in December of 1989.  The gallery featured an extensive collection of 18th and early 19th century English and American furniture, decorative arts and oriental rugs.

Perhaps because several of the showrooms were furnished as bedrooms, many visitors to the gallery suggested that the building would make a wonderful Bed and Breakfast.  The following year, the Acorn Inn was established… the idea being a Bed and Breakfast on a limited scale along with the antique business.  The first few years were challenging but rewarding and the Clarks soon realized they enjoyed being “innkeepers” much more than being “shopkeepers.”  The Clarks carefully selected furnishings for the Inn from their stock and in 1993, sent the remainder of their inventory to auction at Sotheby’s in New York and to a local auction gallery.

The Inn retained its original three-seat outhouse, built in 1888, until the winter of 2010 when time and the elements took their toll.  The Barn, also built in 1888, still remains.  Originally renovated into the Owner’s Quarters, today the Suite in the Barn provides total seclusion for guests.  The Clarks personally built over 150 ft. of dry stone walls from the stone they hauled from the creek that borders the property.  Extensive landscaping included the planting of over 25 mature pines and ornamental trees, many mature shrubs and thousands of bulbs, the creation of two water gardens and installation of over 150 ft. of brick sidewalks and terraces.  Visitors to the Inn are impressed not only by the warmth and charm of the furnishings and decorations, but also by the beauty and tranquility of the peaceful gardens.  Because of the Clark’s hard work and loving attention-to-detail, this lovely two hundred year old Federal Stagecoach Inn has enjoyed a glorious rebirth.

In late summer 2004, the Acorn Inn was purchased by Sheryl Mordini.  Born in Southern California and raised in Hong Kong, Sheryl returned to California to attend college.  Upon graduating, she began her career in automotive marketing/advertising.  Starting as a Secretary, hard work, strong principles and common sense, helped Sheryl rise to the top.  With nearly twenty years marketing/advertising experience, and nearly 20 years of stress to boot, she decided to follow her pursuit of owning and operating a Bed & Breakfast.  Having never heard of the Finger Lakes before and not knowing a single soul, guests often ask how she ended up in Bristol.  The simple answer… the Inn called her.

Sheryl’s vision of her inn is a reflection of herself.  Simple elegance.  Comfortable luxury.  Romance.  A blending of antiques and contemporary comfort to create a warm, inviting Bed & Breakfast in which to find relaxation and peace.  Sheryl applies her ten and a half years of experience introducing and building the Lexus brand, the automotive industry’s consistent leader in customer service and quality, and has applied it to the Inn.  The Relentless (now Passionate) Pursuit of Perfection need not only apply to the automotive world.  Under her loving care, the Acorn Inn’s high standards have been taken to a new level.