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Clayton NC Lifestyle and History

Clayton is conveniently located in western Johnston County, only 20 minutes from the state capital in Raleigh. The town is surrounded by a thriving industrial base and offers diverse recreational activities, numerous educational opportunities and a burgeoning cultural and visual arts community. Its citizens – ­ who range from young families to retirees ­– enjoy the comfort and security of living within a small community, yet take advantage of the benefits of living close to the major metropolitan Triangle area.

HISTORY

The Town of Clayton, named for Delaware Sen. John Middleton Clayton (1796-1856), was built on the road that was cut by Governor Tryon’s troops as they marched from New Bern to Hillsborough against the Regulators around 1770.

The community was first known as Stallings’ Station, a depot for the North Carolina Railroad in the home of Mrs. Sarah Stallings. The first post office was located just southeast of the present site, under the name of Gulley’s Store. On January 30, 1856, the name was officially changed to Clayton.

CLAYTON LIFESTYLE

The official slogan for the Town of Clayton is "A Premier Community for Active Families." In addition to being a great place to live and work, Clayton is a wonderful place to play. Entertainment and recreational opportunities abound and appeal to residents and visitors of all ages.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Clayton is a burgeoning artists’ community. The cultural arts -- visual and performing arts -- continue to grow as citizens find fewer and fewer reasons to venture out of town for entertainment.

The Clayton Center, which features a 600-seat auditorium, was renovated from the former Clayton school buildings into a state-of-the-art performance and conference center. It is home to the Palladian Series, a professional performance series that runs between October and May annually. The auditorium also is rented to local groups for pageants, concerts and presentations. The Conference Center has quickly become a destination for both the businesses and civic communities around the region. It also is home to visual artist exhibitions throughout the year.

The Harvest Festival -- the Clayton Chamber's largest event of the year -- brings artists and craftsmen from the local region and around the state to Clayton annually in September. The Clayton Art Faire, sponsored by Clayton Visual Arts committee, is held each year in June in conjunction with Millstock, a local music and crafts festival.

RECREATION

The Clayton Parks and Recreation Deparment provides a wide variety of indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities and maintains several parks and trails throughout town. The department facilitates youth and some adult sports programs and community activities, as well as a program of life-improvement classes. Call (919) 553-1550 for more information.

The state also maintains Clemmons Educational State Forest, which is used as a living environmental education center, just outside of town. Ranger-conducted programs are available to groups visiting the Forest and the entire family will enjoy hiking and picknicing. Group camping is available; reservations are required. Call (919) 553-5651 for more information.

The Clayton Senior Center offers a number of activities for residents 55 and older throughout the week. The facility is located in the Village Gardens apartment complex and is operated by the Johnston County Council on Aging.

Golf enthusiasts will find three excellent golf courses on which to spend their time: The Neuse, Pine Hollow, and Riverwood.

Clayton also is in close proximity to the ballpark for the MudCats minor league baseball team; Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, Harris Lake, and Kerr Lake recreation areas for fishing, boating, and watersports; the North Carolina coast, and other attractions around the Triangle area.

The Town of Clayton was incorporated in 1869. Today, it is a dynamic, growing community and has become the second largest town in Johnston County.

- Clayton Chamber of Commerce