Museum Exhibits

Current Exhibits

Life in Clayton 1850-1870

When U. S. history classes talk about the 1850s and 1860s, they only cover major events such as the Civil War, California gold rush, and first transcontinental railroad. They never mention the fun stuff like what day-to-day life was like for the average citizen. Let the Clayton Historical Society’s new exhibit, Life in Clayton 1850-1870, take you back in time to see how ordinary Clayton residents lived, worked, played, dressed, cooked, and celebrated. Along the way the exhibit tells many stories about Clayton such as the wedding scam, cream ale brewery, arson insurance fraud, “Electro-Magnetic” doctor, copper mining boom, hotel gong, and the 1864 fire that destroyed the town. Once you see the exhibit, you’ll feel closer to the past and have a greater appreciation for the modern conveniences we take for granted. 

Prior Exhibits

Clayton Farms

These days, most people don’t really understand how food is grown, much less how farming has shaped our local history since 1852. The Clayton Historical Society Museum’s new exhibit, Clayton Farms, tells the story of our local farmers. Find out: what crops could be grown here without summer rain; why Clayton vineyards were destroyed in the 1900s and 1920s; how wine was made in the 19th century; who bought most of Clayton’s fresh fruit and vegetables; why farming machinery changed from horsepower to gasoline power; how Clayton farmers helped the war effort during World Wars I and II; and much more.

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