The Cumberland and Red Rivers merge in the heart of the Clarksville, Tenn., very near where the city was founded in 1784 — 12 years before Tennessee’s statehood. Today, a fully-developed Cumberland RiverWalk meanders around this juncture, and an enclosed RiverCenter illustrates Clarksville’s history and development.
The city’s tobacco-built history is still evident in “ghost advertising” from building advertisements targeting river traffic, as well as existing tobacco warehouses. Try a leisurely downtown walking tour to admire the city’s historic churches, buildings and residences, many of which were built in 1878 following a massive fire.
Most noteworthy are the eclectic architecture of the Customs House Museum, built in 1898 as a post office, the Montgomery County Courthouse, and the art-deco Roxy Regional Theatre.
Clarksville’s military history spans from the Revolutionary War era through modern conflicts. The remarkably well-preserved Fort Defiance Civil War Park was constructed as a defensive fort in 1861 by Confederate troops to control the river approach to Clarksville. Reenactment events throughout the year give visitors a glimpse of life during Civil War days.
A drive into rural Montgomery County transports visitors to a mid-19th Century pioneer settlement at Historic Collinsville. This 40-acre site features 16 authentically restored log buildings dating from 1830-1900. Each structure is filled with authentic furnishings.
Dunbar Cave, at over eight miles in length, is one of the largest in Montgomery County. Part of a 144-acre state park, the cave entrance remains 58 degrees year around. In the 1930s the cave became a hotspot for local bands and other entertainment. In 1948, country music legend Roy Acuff bought the property and staged his Saturday Night Radio Dance Broadcast from the site. Today, state park rangers offer programming year around, including guided cave tours certain times of the year.
A short drive northwest of Nashville along I-24, Clarksville’s central location makes the city an ideal destination for families looking for a mix of history, education, outdoor adventure, great food, and outstanding cultural opportunities. Begin planning your trip at www.visitclarksvilletn.com.