Clay Corner Inn's main house is a Depression-era brick structure built in 1929. There is a porch light and exterior steps outside the back door, which implies there was either an entrance or the house ended here and was added on to later. Another porch light and exterior brick stairs can be seen outside the office, and we know in the early 1990s that this served as a private, 2-story apartment rental.
The twin cape-cod style houses facing Harrell Street, the creative deck system and swimming pool were all added in 1989. The late Vic Huggins, a cherished art professor at Virginia Tech and his wife, Pat, had the houses built for her mother and aunt, sisters who apparently did not get along, but spoke by phone often. The aunt moved away after a year, and the mother passed away a couple of years later. After some wrangling with the Town of Blacksburg, the Huggins secured a permit for the first Bed & Breakfast business in Blacksburg. It opened as Per Diem Bed & Breakfast around 1991.
Joanne & John Anderson purchased the property in June of 1994, with explicit goals of building a profitable lodging business. The phrase "per diem," Latin for "by day," can refer to the government lodging rate, and the inn was often perceived as being owned by the government or Virginia Tech. The Andersons changed the name to Clay Corner Inn a year later. They acquired the property next door, totally renovating the Huckleberry House and opening four more guest rooms with private baths. The building is no longer part of the inn property, though the brick paver parking lot they installed remains as an access point at the end of the twin houses.
The Andersons brought Clay Corner Inn to the forefront of lodging in town, before many of the in-town hotels were built. They closed in June of 2004 to care for her parents, then re-furnished, re-stocked and re-opened with 8 guest rooms and suites in the original three buildings in March of 2008.
In September of 2011, the Andersons sold Clay Corner Inn to Rick and Nicky Alvaro, who relocated from California. As their grandchildren came along, they wished to move closer to family, and we, Katy and Pawel, purchased it with all the hopes and enthusiasm of anyone who loves the Bed & Breakfast segment of the lodging industry. The charm, appeal and location drew us in, like it draws so many of our guests from around the world.
Katy and Pawel moved to Blacksburg in 2012. Katy has a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia and teaches at Virginia Tech. Pawel has been employed by Salem City Schools since 2013, teaching math and coaching cross county at Salem High School. Prior to teaching full-time, he played poker professionally and has published a how-to book on the subject. Fittingly, he also teaches AP Statistics.
In their free time, Katy loves reading, and Pawel enjoys long runs on local trails with friends and at times their dog, Aba. In both 2017 and 2018, Pawel finished the Grindstone 100 ultra-marathon, a 101.8-mile race through Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. Together, they have a tradition of completing the New York Times crossword puzzle on the day it is posted. Their longest streak is 578 days consecutively.
Their daughter, Anna, arrived in December of 2017, a very special early holiday present. She loves exploring all the nooks and crannies at Clay Corner Inn
Joshua Roseberry was born in the New River Valley with a long family history in the area. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in business. His passion has always been hospitality managing several hotels and restaurants in the area. He spent five years in the Outer Banks of North Carolina managing boutique hotels only to return to the beautiful mountains for Southwest Virginia. He resides in Radford with his partner, Jenna and two- year old daughter, Aniston. His passion is creating memories that last forever.
Thank you for reading our history and enjoying the property, we hope you’ve made yourself at home and have created your own memories here. We are confident that Clay Corner Inn will continue its 28-year tradition of warm hospitality, friendly atmosphere and personal service in a small setting with all the amenities travelers have come to expect