1930s Video of Downtown Clayton from Duke Library

Incorporated in 1869, Clayton is one of the older towns in North Carolina, with history stretching back to the time of minutemen and the Revolutionary War. Duke University’s Library Digital Collection in Durham is showcasing work from H. Lee Waters’ film Movies of Local People, which has a 13+ minute stretch of Clayton black & white footage from the Great Depression era of 1936-37.

There is no audio, and the 1930s equipment is limited, but Waters’ work paints a picture of what old Downtown Clayton was like over 80 years ago. Check out the video!

Much of the footage is from the downtown area. Can you spot any landmarks?!

Downtown Clayton

This film is part of a series of films taken by H. Lee Waters titled Movies of Local People. The series captures residents of small towns across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia between 1936 and 1942. Digitized from U-matic. The shot list for this film was created by library staff from another version of the footage. The sequence of events identified in the shot list should be accurate, but the timestamps are not.

The materials in the H. Lee Waters Film Collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. Materials from this collection may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission from Duke University. All copyrights that exist in this material have not been transferred to Duke University. When use is made of these materials, it is the responsibility of the user to obtain additional permissions as necessary and to observe the stated access policy, the laws of copyright and the educational fair use guidelines.

(Map via www.townofclaytonnc.org)