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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clayton in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Clayton

 
 
Clayton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 30, 2012
1. Clayton Marker
Inscription. Miwok Indians inhabited this valley at the base of Mt. Diablo when Spanish explorers came in the 1770ís. Scouts, trappers, prospectors and settlers followed.

In 1857 Clayton was founded by Joel Clayton, a miner, farmer, and wagonmaster from England. Coal, copper and quicksilver mines developed nearby, creating a bustling downtown with stage service and a post office established in 1861. When mining declined, farming and ranching prospered, with orchards, vineyards, horses and cattle.

Eventually residential development blended with this historical setting. To preserve its unique identity and rural charm, Clayton incorporated in 1964.
 
Erected 1992 by Clayton Business & Professional Association (CBPA).
 
Location. 37° 56.472′ N, 121° 56.15′ W. Marker is in Clayton, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Diablo Street, on the right when traveling east on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clayton CA 94517, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Clayton Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Joaquin Murrieta (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line);
Clayton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 30, 2012
2. Clayton Marker
The Joel Clayton House (about 300 feet away); Endeavor Hall (about 400 feet away); The Growler Saloon – Goethals Building (about 400 feet away); The Clayton Post Office (about 500 feet away); De Martini Winery (about 600 feet away); Black Diamond Way (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clayton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Coal Mining. The early discoveries of gold, quicksilver, copper ore and lime deposits on the slopes of Mt. Diablo never developed into a viable industry. Although it was gold that brought prospectors and miners to California, it was coal that changed the landscape and the socio-economic make-up of the area around Mt. Diablo. (Submitted on October 1, 2012.) 

2. Joel Clayton. In 1850, Joel came permanently to California where he engaged in a wide variety of business enterprises, ranging from dairy ranching to mining. (Submitted on October 1, 2012.) 
 
Additional comments.
1.
Clayton Becomes the Thirteenth City in Contra Costa County - 1964
Downtown Clayton - Main Street image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 30, 2012
3. Downtown Clayton - Main Street
An election was held in Endeavor Hall on March 3, 1964, when 91% of Claytonís 364 registered voters balloted, 251 to 61, to make Clayton the thirteenth city in Contra Costa County. The Oakland Tribune called this a record turnout for a municipal election in California.
At 8:00 p.m. Sigrid Frank, a 69 year-old Clayton “old-timer” who was the poll inspector, stepped onto the front porch, rang a brass bell, and in traditional style proclaimed: “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! The polls are closed.”
Source: Clayton Museum
    — Submitted October 1, 2012.

 
Categories. AgricultureExplorationNative AmericansNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers
 
The Brass Bell image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 30, 2012
4. The Brass Bell
This bell was rung to announce the closing of the polls on March 3, 1964.
Joel Clayton image. Click for full size.
5. Joel Clayton
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 330 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 1, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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