Stay In Clay
Stay for a day, maybe two, and take home a memory that will last a lifetime.

Stay in Clay County...

Stay In Clay invites you to discover the backcountry of Clay County, the Gateway to the Elk & Redbud Capitals of Kentucky and the Land of Swinging Bridges! Camp, hike, bike or ride. Learn about our rich Appalachian history and culture. Picnic and play at our parks, golf at Big Hickory Golf Course, view abundant wildlife and weathered barns on scenic country drives, navigate miles of ATV trails. Step back in time with our historic towns and old swinging bridges. Come explore the beautiful Appalachian mountains, Daniel Boone National Forest and the Bert T. Combs Lake & Recreational Park. Stay for a day, maybe two, and take home a memory that will last a lifetime.

Discover Clay County Kentucky

SaltWorks Appalachian Homecoming

Memorial Day Weekend
Pioneer Village, Manchester, KY

Stay In Clay's SaltWorks Appalachian Homecoming Festival is held annually on Memorial Day weekend at the historic SaltWorks Pioneer Village in Manchester. The event features fine arts, handmade and hand decorated crafts, pioneer demonstrators, live blue grass music, homemade food, and children's activities.

 ◆ Food ◆ Music ◆ Storytelling ◆ Antique & Vintage Market

◆ Handcrafted Items  ◆ Demonstrations of Pioneer Skills 

Plans are underway for the Annual Saltworks Appalachian Homecoming at the Pioneer Village in (Y-Holler) Manchester, KY.  This year’s homecoming is shaping up to be the best yet. Exciting  changes are coming to the SaltWorks Appalachian Homecoming based on visitor feedback. The goal this year is to offer something for everyone! We invite you to come be a part of a wonderful, fun filled, historical weekend. Join us for music and entertainment at one of Clay County's most historic sites. 

Discover the Land of Swinging Bridges

Clay County's swinging bridges are historical pedestrian bridges towering above the rivers and creeks. During floods they were one of the only ways to cross the waterways. In some remote areas of Clay County, this is still true today. These suspension footbridges are often called swinging bridges because the bridge sways beneath your feet as you walk across. They are also referred to as rope bridges due to their historical origin based on the ancient Inca rope bridge.

Swinging bridges would span a wide river without the need for foundation pillars in the middle. This meant there was no obstruction to river traffic and no danger of the pier being damaged during floods. They were also cheaper to build than pier designs. Typical construction would start with a ball of twine to judge the curve and distance. The upright piers were constructed first before being pulled into position by men in boats or on horses or mules. The cable was then dragged across by hand using a wheel or pulley. Men would mix cement and haul river gravel and timbers from local farms.

Many of these historic relics of Appalachian history still tower over Goose Creek, Red Bird and the South Fork rivers. Visit Clay County Kentucky, the Land of Swinging Bridges, and discover the romance, history and adventure of these cherished swinging bridges.

Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater

A story is born, a story is "growed", and then it is harvested, so it can be told... We gather them together, with little muss and fuss, to present "Monkey Dumplins", the story of US.

Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater harvests local stories by teaching the art of story telling, then capturing and performing the fascinating oral history of Clay County on stage. Monkey Dumplins draws people with varied backgrounds and beautifully interweaves their many creative talents.

Participants share important, untold stories. Actors extract the essence through drama, movement, and song. The performance may be moving, funny, or profound, and leaves the teller and the audience with fresh insight and a stronger sense of community.

All of us have stories. Learn more about the Appalachian community, their struggles, their achievements and joys.

Clay County Kentucky Photo Gallery

Donate to SIC

"Stay In Clay" is non profit organization organized in Clay County, Kentucky. Donations to our cause are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Donate by Mail

Stay In Clay
PO Box 1337
Manchester, Kentucky 40962

Buy A Bridge Board

Buy A Bridge Board is a sponsorship program by Stay In Clay to raise funds to restore the Old Swinging Bridge in Downtown Manchester, and to support the many projects and activities of SIC. Each of the sponsorship brass plaques will be carefully crafted with the sponsor’s name, or a message provided by the sponsor, and attached to a sponsored board. Sponsor a Swinging Bridge Board to commemorate a special person, event, organization or business. Your plaque will be personalized with your personal message and displayed on the restored Goose Creek Swinging Bridge in historic Downtown Manchester. Give a memory that will last a lifetime with a sponsored Bridge Board. Board sponsorships are $25 each, limit one Name/Message, 50 characters per plaque.

About the Old Swinging Bridge

Manchester's Goose Creek Swinging Bridge was originally constructed to replace the old wagon bridge that was washed away in the Flood of 1947. This unique icon of our cultural heritage literally connects our history...the Heritage Pavilion on the Square to the Warrior's Path on the other side of Goose Creek. This is the actual route taken by Daniel Boone in 1769, and before him, Dr. Thomas Walker when returning to Virginia after constructing the first building in Kentucky in 1750. Moreover, when you get to the other side, you have two choices. Turn left on the scenic walkway to Rawlings & Stinson Park, in the footsteps of countless explorers, as well as marvel at the site that 60-foot salt barges took during the winter and spring "salt tides." Or, turn right and walk the trail to the historical Goose Creek Salt Works and home of the first county government in 1807. This is also the site of one of the oldest structures in Kentucky, the Jane & Jesse Cotton Cabin. Our Goose Creek Swinging Bridge connects us with the historical narratives of the whole state of Kentucky.

Join The Movement

"Stay In Clay" is comprised of progressive Clay County residents who have come together to cross all boundaries of race, economic, and social class, to empower our people, bond our community, and strengthen our local move Clay County forward with pride and purpose.

Stay in Clay is a group formed to help boost the spirit, pride, and morale of our people and help improve the look and condition of our hometown/county. We want Manchester and Clay County to be the place people want to live, stay, retire, visit, come home to!


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