We all know where Main Street is, but do we know why it matters?
Main Street is the core of the community. It tells us who we are, who we were, and how the past has shaped us. Our Main Street is a place of shared memories where people still come together to live, work, and play. That's why the Town of Clayton is working hard to preserve its history and character.
The Clayton Historic District includes portions of the downtown commercial district and residential neighborhoods north and south of the railroad, including almost 300 historic homes and buildings. It's bounded by Mulberry Street, W Barnes Street, Mill Street, Lombard Street, and Blanche Street. The Town created an historic district because we support efforts to preserve our history and architecture, yet still want to encourage use of our historic commercial and residential buildings. See the historic district map (PDF).
National Register of Historic Places
In 2010, after three years of research and preparation, the Clayton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service (NPS). "Historic preservation encourages reinvestment in existing neighborhoods, which can enhance property values and the local tax base," said Mayor Jody McLeod. Having our downtown make the list does not automatically mean all of our buildings will be preserved and it does not keep buildings or homes from being modified or destroyed. It does give property owners the opportunity to receive grants or possible federal and state investment tax credits to help pay for the cost of rehabilitation projects. Read the application (PDF) that won us recognition on the National Register of Historic Places: it has a neat listing of all the historic homes and buildings!
Does your downtown business need a facelift? We may be able to help! Funded fully by the Town of Clayton, the Clayton Downtown Development Advisory Board (CDDA) helps promote and review the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program (PDF) to help improve the overall appearance of Downtown. It may be new windows, paint or an awning but we think citizens should be able to see a marked improvement in the appearance of your building, driving more traffic in your doors! For more information contact the Town of Clayton Economic Development Office at 919-553-5002.
Historic Plaques for Your Home and Business
Do you have a home or business in our historic district? You need to brag about it! The Clayton Historical Association sponsors a plaque program to help increase public awareness of the Town's historic buildings and homes. It's totally voluntary and doesn't restrict your property rights. The cost is $105 and you can learn more: contact the Town Historian at 919-553-5542.
Clayton History Room
Clayton History Room is located at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library. It is filled with history from wall to wall! If you want to know about anything from the history of the Library to the history of the Town and surrounding area, we have tried to gather it all here, just for you!
Our Clayton Fire Department also has some great history! You can read more about their beginnings here.
Finally, do you think you know Clayton's history? Test your knowledge of Clayton with this fun Quiz (PDF)!