Founded in 1889 when the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway was built its clay deposits supplied the Washington Brick, Lime & Manufacturing Company plant. At one time the brick plant was the largest in the state. The name indicates the great importance of clay to local industry and for the “…deposits of clay found near the village.”
Points of Interest
The Clayton School District was created in 1890 and its first classes were held in a one-room wooden schoolhouse. Due to the arrival of the Washington Brick & Lime Company, the school facility quickly became over-crowed when workers flooded to the area to work at the newly opened brick plant. Shortly thereafter, a new “spacious two-room school” replaced the original school building. The new facility served the needs of the Clayton area for a few more years, but once again became over-crowed when the Big Foot School District joined Clayton in 1909. In 1914, a bond issue was passed for another new school and Spokane architect Charles Wood designed the existing two-story facility. Built in 1915, it operated as a schoolhouse until 1972 when the Arcadia School in Dear Park was constructed.
Washington Brick and Lime Company House
The Washington Brick and Lime Company was one of the largest brick manufacturing plants in the state of Washington and one of the major industries of Stevens County during its 67 years of operation in Clayton. The ‘Company’ House was built in 1928 for use as the home of company superintendents. It is the only company building to remain standing since the plant’s destruction by fire and subsequent closure in 1957. The building itself is notable for its superb masonry craftsmanship, including its fine brickwork, unusually white mortar, and its tiles and other decorative elements. The latter were manufactured by the company’s terra cotta plant whose draftsmen designed the house.