Not too long ago, I was a guest of the village of Clayton in Lenawee County. I had never been there before, but being there for most of the day, I became interested and wanted to see what history I could dig up on this Dover Township community.

Some of the locals told me that the town used to have quite the business section, stores and shops all up and down the street.....all of which are now long gone.

Clayton was first settled in 1836, with a post office implemented the following year under the name 'East Dover'. In 1843 the village was platted by New Yorker Reuben Bird; in 1847, he renamed the post office and village as 'Clayton', after one of his buddies back in New York, Reverend Clayton. Another number of years went by and Clayton was finally incorporated as a village in 1870.

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Clayton was also used as a stop along the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad. The village sits between Hudson – six miles to the west – and Adrian, twelve miles to the east. The old school has been renovated and closed, and now has residents.

Looking at the photo gallery below, you'll see how Clayton looked over one hundred years ago in its heyday. Main Street was lined with all sorts of brick stores and shops and the depot kept bringing more and more travelers – and future residents – to town. Now all those buildings are gone and there are no stores or restaurants left in town, a fact that the current residents hope will change.

Then-And-Now Photos of Clayton, Michigan: 1900-2020s


Vintage Owosso 'Then-and-Now' Photos

Fowlerville, Then-and-Now

Concord, Then-and-Now

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