The three room Clay School Building and Restrooms, built in 1913, were purchased for $1.00 from the Clay Joint Elementary School District (its 2nd school building) and moved during the summer of 1975 from the NW corner of Smith and Saginaw Avenues, (5 miles NE of Kingsburg) its original location, to the Kingsburg Historical Park. The building’s roof had been taken off and the building cut into 3 sections and put back together. The building served the Clay District for 62 years. Before the move, the bell in the tower was transferred to the new Clay School building. The bell in the belfry today is the Harrison School bell. The Harrison School (now a private residence) was located on the NE corner of Zediker (Road 24) and Kamm Avenues, 3 miles NE of Kingsburg. The Clay School building was the first building to be located in this Historical Park.
The Clay School building was closed to the public on 3/5/08 and subsequently emptied of all contents in preparation for a major renovation which began on 4/18/09; consisting of new trusses, roof, ceilings & the installation of a fire suppression sprinkler system. The plaster on the inside walls was removed & new dry-wall installed over the lath. The electrical re-wiring in the walls & ceiling with additional ceiling fans & outside lighting were installed. The light fixtures in the three large rooms arrived for duty circa 1950. The building was approximately 85% insulated & was repainted on the inside to original colors. The U.S. Flag was restored atop the bell tower after having been last seen there circa 1917. The tall flag pole nearest the Clay building served as the official flag pole for Clay Elementary School from 1916 – 1993. The restoration project was made possible by a financial grant from the Larry Hillblom Foundation and generous financial donations from two Clay School graduates, Helen Nord Wigh (1930) and Jack Martin (1940). The building was officially reopened to tourists on April 24, 2010.
Housed in the Clay School Museum Building are early day artifacts received from Kingsburg residents/businesses, such as early day pictures of Kingsburg scenes, schools, student class pictures, musical instruments, military uniforms, business machines, a loom, works of local authors, just to name a few categories.
Pictures of schools and student pictorials from Kingsburg High School, Clay, Kings River, Roosevelt, Washington & Lincoln schools are displayed. In one room school furnishings of the 1920’s – 1970’s are displayed. In the 1940’s the wood/coal burning stoves had been replaced by three oil burning heaters. The Museum visitor will enjoy seeing much more than what has been described above. For example, the year 1854 carved upon a wood stake denoting John Charles Fremont’s visit to what would become the NW corner of Academy and Kamm Avenues of Kingsburg. The very first issue of the Kingsburg Recorder which made its appearance on November 30, 1904 and has been a weekly publication ever since! The Museum Library hosts a collection of Kingsburg High School Yearbooks, hard copies of The Kingsburg Recorder from 1932 – 1973, books written in Swedish and other regional materials.
Military uniforms and artifacts most of which were worn and used by Kingburg citizens, are displayed in a coatroom of the Clay School