SMALL TOWN AMERICA
Smith-Trahern Mansion - Built in 1858 by wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith, this majestic antebellum home overlooks the Cumberland River.Constructed during the troubled pre Civil War era, the architecture reflects Greek Revival and Italianate styles.The home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a “widow’s walk” on the roof.This beautiful home overlooks the Cumberland River. It was designed by Adolphus Heiman in 1858 for a wealthy tobacconist by the name Christopher Smith. The home reflects the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, which were very popular at that time. Although not as large as some, the home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a “widow” walk" on the roof. The original main building consisted of four large rooms on each of the two floors, opening onto both the hallways and the balconies. The kitchen was attached to the back of the house, but there was no connecting door. Of the many outbuildings that must have been on the property at this time, only the slave's quarters remains.
Montgomery County Courthouse - Originally constructed in the 1800’s, the Courthouse and Courts Complex is a blend of state of the art technology and historic charm.Restored after the 1999 tornado, this architectural beauty is the symbol of Clarksville’s historic downtown.Adorning the corridors of both buildings are 150 photographs illustrating the history and heritage of Montgomery County.
Customs House Museum and Cultural Center - Built in 1898 as a US Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade, this architecturally fascinating structure is among the most photographed buildings in the region.The state’s second largest general museum, the center features rotating shows, galleries and a sculpture garden. This center, located in the center of downtown Clarksville, is the State’s second largest general museum. The 1898 portion of the Museum was originally designed for use as a Federal Post Office and Custom House to handle the large volume of foreign mail created by the city’s international tobacco business. It measures 62 feet, 2 inches by 62 feet, 2 inches overall and is built on a smooth stone foundation. The brick exterior has decorative terra cotta around all openings and on the corners. The hipped roof with flared eaves is made of slate over long leaf pine, with the roof framing being of steel construction. The floor is of Knoxville, Tennessee marble, and the plastered walls feature extensive natural white oak trim. The building contains three vaults. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. With over 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, hands-on activities and special events, this museum can keep everyone busy. Explore the expansive museum visiting galleries displaying fine art, science, and history. Enjoy the museum’s collection of model trains that ride around the tracks each day.
Fort Defiance Interpretive Center and Park - In April of 2011, the Fort Defiance Civil War Park opened its doors to the new interpretive center, kicking off the 150th anniversary of the war that defined a century and changed the country.Fort Defiance overlooks the Red and Cumberland Rivers and has a breathtaking view of the Downtown.Visitors are encouraged to walk the trails and enjoy the history that the location represents.Displays, cannons and the occasional re-enactors are just some of things you can enjoy on your visit to Fort Defiance.In November 1861, Confederate troops began to build a defensive fort that would control the river approach to Clarksville. They mounted three guns in the fort. On February 19, 1862, Federal gunboats came up the river from Fort Donelson and reported the fort displayed a white flag and was deserted. The Federals took over the fort and enlarged it so that it would control traffic on the Hopkinsville Pike. Clarksville was left with a small garrison of Union Troops. In April 1862, this small garrison was made up of the 71st Ohio Volunteers commanded by Col. Rodney Mason. During July and August 1862, there was an increase in guerrilla activity around Clarksville. On August 18, 1862, Clarksville was recaptured by Confederate Calvary. Union soldiers were sent from Fort Donelson to retake Clarksville in September 1862. Battles were fought at New Providence on September 6, 1862 and at Riggins Hill on September 7, 1862. The town and fort were reoccupied by Federal troops who remained for the rest of the war. Col. Bruce was placed in command at Clarksville and Fort Defiance was renamed Fort Bruce.
Trinity Episcopal Church - Trinity Episcopal Parish in Clarksville was founded in 1832 and is one of the five oldest Episcopal parishes in Tennessee. Its first building was erected in 1838. During the Civil War, Trinity was one of the few local churches allowed to remain open by the Union forces that occupied Clarksville because the rector insisted that “decent and orderly” worship transcended politics and even war. In 1873 the original building was demolished, and the current Romanesque building was completed in 1877. On January 22, 1999, a tornado ripped through Clarksville, and the church was hit hard. A portion of the roof collapsed and part of the steeple was knocked over, but the walls remained, providing enough structure to begin restoration.
Clarksville Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Clarksville is the fifth fastest growing city in the United States while keeping their small town charm. Founded in 1784 and incorporated as a town in 1785, Clarksville was named for Revolutionary War Hero General George Rogers Clark. The town is lined with history ranging for centuries and can be seen through prime examples of Victorian and Roman styles of architecture that are prevalent throughout the city.