This early photograph of the Clayton Hotel was use for the

“Yesterday’s Places Today” photography contest.

Over the course of the next five weeks Picturing the Past
will feature the five photographs used in the “Yesterday’s Places Today”
photography contest sponsored by the Local History Room at the Transylvania
County Library and the Land of Waterfalls Camera Club.  Each week will focus on one of the original
photographs including some background information and share one or more of the entries
of the location as it looks today.

Shortly after marrying Belle Wood in 1894, Joe Clayton
built the Clayton House Hotel on the corner of Main and Caldwell streets.  At that time Caldwell Street was the main
north-south route through Brevard. 
Clayton had a general mercantile on the first floor and rooms to rent on
the second floor.  He also operated a
livery which delivered businessmen and tourists arriving at the nearby depot
right to his doorstep.

Belle Clayton and later the Clayton’s eldest daughter,
Jackie, ran the hotel/boarding house. The lobby and dining room for guests, as
well as the kitchen were located on the first floor on the west side of the building, opening on to a spacious lawn and garden. 
Originally the building had a second floor porch across the front and
down both long sides, allowing the Clayton family and their guests a place to
enjoy the cool summer evenings.  The
third floor, with the mansard roof, was added in the spring of 1906.

Josephine Clayton recalled that the family
had rooms on the second floor, including a parlor and four bedrooms.  Josephine, born in 1910, was the ninth of
eleven children, eight of which survived to adulthood.  More stories about the close knit Clayton
family can be found in “Clayton Family Memories” by Josephine Clayton, Jocelyn
Clayton, Rob Tolleson, and Jocelyn Clayton Tolleson.

Photographer Ken Williams’ view of the corner where the Clayton Hotel

stood for about 50 years was selected as the best overall “Today”

shot of the site.

In later years a millinery shop and feed store replaced
Joe Clayton’s general store.   Later
still a jewelry and watch repair shop, part of Wheeler’s Hosiery operation, and
Carl McCrary’s auto parts shop were located in the space.  Tankersley’s Floral Shop also got its start
in the old Clayton Hotel.

An article in the November 3, 1949 Transylvania Times
stated that the Clayton Hotel was being razed and a modern two-story building was planned in the future.  That
building was never constructed.  For many years the Brevard Monument Company was
located on the corner though.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by
the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs.  For more information,
comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712