Amherst is near Lake Erie in Lorain County, 25 miles west of Cleveland. It is best known for the sandstone that has been quarried in the vicinity since the middle of the 19th century.
The first settler arrived in 1811. The town itself can be traced to Josiah Harris, who made his first trip to stake a claim in 1814. The first acre that he cleared later became the town square of Amherst. Amherst was originally part of Black River, but was separated in 1830. Originally called Amherstville, the town's name was shortened to Amherst in 1909.
The history of Amherst is on display at the Sandstone Museum Center, operated by the Amherst Historical Society. The Amherst City Hall was built of local sandstone in 1884 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.