Towns in Rabun County
Long before Clayton, there was The Dividings, the intersection of five major trails that linked the Cherokee of Rabun County to points throughout the Southeast. Rabun County was established in 1819 on Cherokee land ceded to the state of Georgia. Claytonsville, named after prominent jurist and congressman Augustin S. Clayton, was founded in 1821 as the county seat. The town was incorporated in 1823 and renamed Clayton. For the ensuing 75 years, Clayton remained a small, isolated and by some accounts a “ramshackle” town. The coming of the Tallulah Falls Railroad in 1904 was Clayton’s game-changer, bringing tourists and industrial-scale logging to the area. An article in the May 10, 1906 edition of The Clayton Tribune reported that the town had “a fine railroad depot, a wholesale warehouse, a bank, a modern drugstore, five hotels, ten mercantile establishments, two liveries, and many new dwellings.”
Visit our Museum
Want to learn more about Clayton and the people and events that shaped the history of Rabun County? The Society’s museum is free and open to the public.