Visitor Center Clay Cloyd Salter House

The Richmond Visitor Center is located at 531 West Main Street and is here to serve you. Our office is stocked with lots of area literature, maps, and information, plus t-shirts and postcards. Our friendly staff can suggest, guide, explain, advise, recommend, or simply offer a smiling face. We are open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

History of the Clay-Cloyd-Salter House

The son of Cassius M. Clay and Mary Jane Clay, Brutus Junius Clay II, received a degree from the University of Michigan in 1868 and worked as a wholesale and retail grocer. He married his first wife, Pattie Amelia Field. Mr. Clay was also the owner and operator of lumber mills, stone, kaolin, and potter clay quarries, among many other businesses.

Mrs. Clay died and in 1892 her husband made available a property on Glyndon Avenue as the location of Richmond’s first hospital — to be known as the Pattie A. Clay Infirmary. In 1895, Brutus married Lalla Marsteller. Lalla was from Nicholasville and had a young son from a previous marriage. Brutus was active in politics as a Republican. In 1897 he was offered the appointment as Minister to Argentina by President William McKinley, but declined. In 1900, he was a U.S. Commissioner at the Paris Exposition. In 1904, he was a Delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1905, he was appointed Minister to Switzerland, serving until 1910.

In 1926, Brutus purchased the lot on 531 West Main and built this home to resemble his home in Switzerland. The home was designed by the architectural firm of Weber, Werner & Adkins of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Weber Brothers, Edward Addison Weber, and Christian C. Weber designed many prominent buildings of the era including several on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University and the “new” governor’s mansion in Frankfort.

Brutus Clay died in Richmond, Kentucky on June 2, 1932.

In 1939, Mrs. Lalla Marsteller Clay gave this home to her son, William Marsteller. She continued to live there until her death in December 1942. Mrs. Clay was an active board member of the Pattie A Clay Infirmary and she gave the Keeneland Association the Lexington Cup, which was given annually to the winner of the Blue Grass Stakes.

After Mrs. Clay’s passing her son sold the home to John Mack and Elath Coy in the spring of 1943. Fairis Marcum and his wife Pearl purchased the home in the summer of 1943. Fairis Marcum was a local businessman who owned numerous stores in downtown Richmond. Unfortunately, Pearl passed away in January 1946.

In the spring of 1946, Mr. Marcum sold the home to Dr. William Cloyd and his family. Mr. Marcum’s grandson David Williams, lives across the street. Dr. William C. Cloyd and his wife Susan moved to Richmond where he was a general practitioner for 26 years with Dr. Carr. They were the attending physicians at Gibson Hospital which was within walking distance of this home. Dr. Cloyd and his wife raised three boys in this home, Bill, Frank, and Bob. They were very active in the Boys Scouts of America, holding regular meetings in the basement of the home. Dr. Cloyd died at the young age of 57 in 1970.

Dr. James Salter and Mary Lou Salter purchased the home in 1978. Always a history buff, Dr. Salter fell in love with the home from the start. Mary Lou also liked older homes and knew of the house’s connection to the famous Clay family. She also thought it would be large enough to house all the items the family had collected over the years. The Salter’s had two children, Greg and Cindy who lived in the home during their teen years. Tragedy struck in 1992, when on a Sunday after church, a terrible fire struck the home. Feeling that the home had too much history, the Salters took extensive measures, to restore the home. Dr. Salter passed away in 2012, delivering over 5,000 babies during his time spent serving in Madison County.

In 2018, Mrs. Salter sold the home to the Richmond Tourism Commission.