Start your day at Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center. Here, you’ll not only learn about Clarksville’s role in the Civil War, but also about the settlement and development of Clarksville’s economy from this convergence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers. Pop around the corner to see Montgomery County’s oldest standing structure, Sevier Station.
The Smith-Trahern Mansion is a fine example of antebellum architecture. The estate was constructed in 1858 by wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith and overlooks the Cumberland River. Adjacent to the grounds is the Riverview Cemetery, with ornamental gravesites dating back to the Revolutionary War era.
As the River Flows is an indoor exhibit at the Cumberland RiverWalk showing the history of the river and Clarksville’s development from that river vantage.
Learn about Olympic Gold Medalist Wilma Rudolph and other famous Clarksvillians at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center. “Becoming Clarksville” is an elaborate permanent exhibit detailing Clarksville’s history.
Take a walking tour of downtown and enjoy historic architecture from the mid 1800s. Dozens of structures are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Church. Expand this tour by car to see beautiful homes like Emerald Hill, Archwood, Tip Top and more.
See a full-size caboose and engine at the restored L&N Train Depot, originally built in 1901.
Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1863. The expansive grounds include gravesites for many notable Clarksvillians, including native Frank Sutton who rose to national fame as Sgt. Carter on “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” You’ll also see a 50-foot tall Civil War monument.
Weekends between May and October, experience Historic Collinsville, a rural 40-acre pioneer settlement with 16 authentically restored log houses and outbuildings dating from 1830-1880. Check their website for special event weekends with docents, activities, music and more. (Tours are self-guided outside of a special event weekend, or a guide can be arranged for a group of six or more anytime.)
The Pratt Museum, located on the Fort Campbell Army Installation, chronicles the history of the 101st Airborne Division’s Screaming Eagles from the early 1940s to present.
Dunbar Cave State Park, at over eight miles in length, is one of the largest caves in Montgomery County. In the roomy mouth of the cave on held square dances, radio shows and big band era concerts. It’s the only public cave in the nation where you can see prehistoric Mississippian Native American cave art dating to the 14th century. Reserve a tour between May – September.
Settled in the early 1780’s, Port Royal State Park commemorates one of the earliest colonial communities and trading posts in Middle Tennessee.
Since 1965, Johnny’s Big Burger has been serving old-fashioned burger and fries, fried chicken sandwiches or honey bun and cream. It’s a must-experience during your visit to Clarksville!
It’ll take a full day to properly explore Clarksville’s new African American Legacy Trail. This self-guided downtown walking trail and county drive will lead you to some 20 locations that honor the legacy of African American history. You’ll be amazed at the significant historic contributions of these Clarksvillians in the areas of athletics, medicine, music, education and more.