Clayburn Village

Little evidence remains of the once thriving clay products manufacturing plant which operated at Clayburn shortly after the turn of the century. However, the brick homes which housed the employees, the village store, church, and school are still standing. Clayburn Village became Abbotsford's first and only designated Heritage Conservation Area in 1996.

Step back in time and enjoy a pleasant afternoon in historic Clayburn Village

Click Street Map to show the street layout of Clayburn Village

Clayburn Village Store
Foremen's Cottage
Accountant's House
Clinker Brick Homes
Plant Manager's Home
Wooden Houses  
Clayburn Church
Clayburn Creek (aka Kelley Creek)
Kirkpatrick House



Click picture to enlarge

Clayburn Village Store

The Village Store was built in 1912 by the Cooper-Seldon Company. In an effort to meet all the needs of the Village, the store sold everything from groceries to life insurance. It also served an important function as a social gathering spot. The store remained part of the Cooper family until 1972 and continued as an operating store/post office until 1984. Over the past several years, it has been carefully restored and, once again, is serving the community as a store, as well as tea-room, confectionary, and deli.


Foremen's Cottage

Five small brick bungalows known as the foreman's cottages were built sometime between 1906 and 1908. Architectural features worth noting are the bell-cast roofs, brick detailing around the windows and doors, and verandas along the front of the houses. Many of the cottages have been lovingly restored by their owners.


Click picture to enlarge


Click picture to enlarge

Accountant's House

There was a certain hierarchy in the Clayburn Company and the type of buildings constructed for their employees was a reflection of the position held in the company. This brick veneer residence was home to the company's accountant and built in 1909. Although not as grand as the Plant Manager's house, it is the second largest building in Clayburn Village. Note the small diamond-shaped window panes which are typical of Samuel Maclure's design.


Clinker Brick Homes

There are two very unusual brick residences in Clayburn. Unlike the other buildings which display uniformly shaped bricks on their exteriors, these homes were built using clinker bricks. Clinker bricks were the result of over-firing during the brick manufacturing process. Excessive temperatures caused the bricks to melt and become distorted in shape. Considered rejects, they were discarded by the Clayburn Company.


Click picture to enlarge


Click picture to enlarge

Plant Manager's Home

The largest of the Samuel Maclure inspired brick houses, circa 1906. It includes more clues to Maclure's hand than do the others. These include shingle work, the roof line, small diamond-shaped window panes, three windows together in the gable end, plus interior detailing, particularly the fireplace. Charles Maclure, the founder of Clayburn, lived here until 1909.


Wooden Houses

This Victorian-styled house of balloon construction on a brick foundation was built in 1911 by K. Flodon. Originally consisting of six rooms; it is the last, in its basic form, of six built. Due to their original pale green colour, they became known as the green houses (later referred to as the white houses). The restoration of house and grounds has been ongoing since 1986. The remaining house was restored by O. and D. Jensenn in the late 1980's.  


Click picture to enlarge


Click picture to enlarge

Clayburn School

Built in 1907-1908. Following the standards of the BC public school architecture guidelines which provided the plans and specified the orientation, the banked windows allowed abundant natural light, but also sufficient wall space for large blackboards. Originally build as a one-room schoolhouse, it was soon enlarged and in 1925 a basement was added, along with plumbed washrooms. The last year of classes was 1983.

Clayburn School has always played a major part in the community, serving also as a meeting place for celebrations, youth concerts, whist drives, and Saturday night dances in the 1930's. After purchase by the Clayburn Village Community Society in 1991, it continues to be used by the community and also houses artifacts and photos, acting as an informal museum that interprets local history and the nature of early education in the village.

Major restorative work has been done in 2000 and in 2007, and continues with the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of donors.


Clayburn Church

Clayburn Church was built in 1912 as a Presbyterian Church. Its first minister was the Reverend Millar. With two services each Sunday, it served the spiritual needs of the community until 1958 when the congregation joined with St. Andrews United in Abbotsford. In 1969, the building was sold to the Clayburn Village Community Society.

The Church differs from other brick structures in the Village both in its traditional style of architecture and its construction. The walls of the building are not a veneer, but are formed by two independently stretcher laid walls with a four-inch space between type of construction common in Britain. In 1978, Clayburn Church was restored by the MSA Heritage Society and is now a protected provincial heritage site.


Click picture to enlarge


Click picture to enlarge

Clayburn Creek (aka Kelley Creek)

Clayburn Creek was the backbone of our pioneer village, providing an ample supply of fresh, clean water for industrial and domestic use. Children waded, swam, and fished in it with willow pole and bent pin, and their parents had excellent trout fishing. Salmon annually spawned in its gravel bottom. The creek is still an important fish-bearing stream.


Kirkpatrick House

This wooden residence was built about 1911 to 1912 and home to the Kirkpatrick family for a number of years. Tom Kirkpatrick was employed by the Clayburn Company and worked on the locomotive which hauled cars loaded with bricks to the CPR station. The house was well known for its lovely gardens. Although it was in a sad state of disrepair, the house has been completely restored as well as raised to be above the flood plain.  


Click picture to enlarge

Brick Plant

The Clayburn Company, or the Vancouver Fireclay Company as it was initially called, was located north of Clayburn Road opposite the Village on a twenty acre site. It manufactured building brick, firebrick and fireclay products as well as sewer pipe.

Up to 180 men were employed here and it soon became the largest producer of bricks in British Columbia. In 1930, the plant closed down and the machinery was moved to the company's Kilgard plant. This plant now functions as Sumas Clay Products and is owned and operated by the Sumas First Nations. The Company currently produces bricks at their plant in downtown Abbotsford.


Did you know?

the Clayburn plant was dismantled in 1931. The company paid local residents half a cent for each clean brick they could recover from the building and kilns on site.


Train

Train


Foreman Cottage

Foreman Cottage


Clayburn Store

Clayburn Store


Copyright © 2009 Clayburn Village | Contact Us | Website Design | Secure Area