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Our history

Albert R. Brown is to Erwin what Winston Churchill is to Britain or Albert Einstein is to physics. The town of Erwin would be a much different place if this traveling salesman had not decided to put his roots down here. There is nothing his hand did not touch. He started the town’s public water system and the local phone company.  He participated in neighborhood planning and volunteering in civic organizations. He held every imaginable position as a government official and public servant from town alderman all the way to state representative. He was a loving father, admired friend, and even an inventor with several patents to his name.

When Brown started construction of his mercantile in 1910, Erwin was a boom town thanks to the Clinchfield Railroad locating their corporate headquarters in Downtown. From Ammo to Apples, and hardware to ladies’ hosiery, Brown’s store was THE center of commerce for this bustling mountain town. If our walls could talk, oh...what stories they would tell! You could do it all at Brown’s… pick out fabric for your  Easter dress, buy your first Beatles album, or call in your grocery order to be delivered straight to your door! For the better part of a century Brown’s was essential to life in Erwin, and many memories were made there.

We want the Bramble to become part of your special story.  Come celebrate a special birthday. Reunite with classmates and familiar faces, or say those sacred words that millions of others before you have said, "I promise to...". Our hope is that The Bramble will continue to carry the legacy that Brown’s once did as an anchor of community life in Erwin.