Port Royal State Historic Park
3300 Old Clarksville Highway, Adams, TN 37010
Port Royal State Historic Park is small, but it holds a large story. The town of Port Royal was established in 1797, one year after Tennessee Statehood. The creation of a tobacco inspection point and flatboat yard led to the town’s role as a regional tobacco town—one that relied on dark-fired tobacco as currency and saw flatboats leave down the Red River to New Orleans by the dozens every year. What began as a small flatboat port eventually saw the construction of a Silk Mill (the only one in Tennessee), general stores, tailors' shops, inns, taverns, churches, and warehouses.
In 1838, over 10,000 Cherokee slept in the State of Tennessee for the last time at Port Royal. Today Port Royal is part of the National Trail of Tears Historic Trail. Port Royal prospered over the 19th century, built by the labors of enslaved men and women, slowing only after the American Civil War and the coming of the railroad.
Port Royal’s story is complicated. It’s the story of enslaved men, women, and children. It is the story of the Cherokee. It is the story of agriculture and commerce. It is a series of connected moments that unveil the story of Tennessee. Come visit with us, and connect with something bigger than yourself.