Nacogdoches "Clay House" added to list for most endangered places


POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 9:10pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 10:02pm

In Nacogdoches, a new name makes the list for Texas' 11th annual "Most endangered places".

Built in 1905, the "Clay House" was once a focal point of the community. Now, it rests in ruins. KETK spoke with a community member, Dorothy Thompson, who is also the Nacogdoches Justice of the Peace, said, "The whole district is the first African American residential part here in Nacogdoches County". Thompson fondly remembers spending time there as a child. She recalled, "We would come here and the Clay sisters would read and teach us different things".

So now, the Nacogdoches Board of Directors is raising money to renovate this iconic building. Richard Orton, the Treasurer for the Board of Directors, said, "I think it's important that this community, which was once a very vibrant, alive, African American neighborhood, i think it's just important to put some of that life back into it".

In July, the board will begin construction on the back porch. Orton explained, "It's the only real entrance to the house, and there's some rotted out lumber". Eventually, the entire house will be restored to its former glory. With the help of local architect Charles Philips, the community hopes to gain momentum and raise money for the project. Orton said, "We want to create some interest, get the community to know that we aren't just talking about it, we are actually doing something".

So far the board has raised $6,000, but they will need more to complete the entire house. If you would like to make a donation, visit:

  1. Facebook page: "African American Heritage Project"
  2. Send check to "African American Heritage Project" at 2300 Tanglewood Circle, Nacogdoches, TX 75961

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