Clayton, the county seat of Rabun County, incorporated on December 13, 1823. The city honors Judge Augustin S. Clayton, a prominent jurist and congressman.
Clayton is home to many regional authors. The most famous publication is the nationally acclaimed Foxfire series, a collection of oral history gathered by local high school students. In nearby Mountain City, the Foxfire Museum houses exhibits relating to Appalachian life and documents the birth of the Foxfire Magazine and the Foxfire Book series.
The Bartram Trail, designated a national recreation trail, runs through Clayton. Quaker William Bartram created this trail more than 200 years ago, and it spans over 40 miles.