Clarksville, Missouri

Geographically, Clarksville, Missouri  lies halfway between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, on Highway 79 about 70 miles north of St. Louis and 50 miles south of Hannibal, Missouri.  Highway 79, which is part of the Great River Road and designated as a National Scenic Byway, is considered one of the most scenic highways running alongside the Mississippi River.  

Clarksville overlooks U.S. Lock and Dam 24 and provides visitors a close vantage point to view river boat and barge traffic on the river.  This area on the Mississippi River hosts one of the largest over-wintering populations of migrating bald eagles in the United States and has been recently deemed an "Important Bird Area" by the National Audubon Society.  Downtown Clarksville rests at the foot of Lookout Point/Sky Lift Hill, the top of which affords an 800 square mile view of the river and valley and is one of the highest points on the Mississippi River.  Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge, Clarence Cannon Dam and Mark Twain Lake are located close by. 

This quaint river town is also home to many artisans, antique dealers, furniture makers and specialty craftsmen. There is much to see and do here. Clarksville even has its own 18-hole Eagles Bluff Golf Course.  The downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places and there are many fine historical homes and buildings in town.

We hope you will come and visit Clarksville to enjoy its scenic beauty, wildlife, artisans, antiques and history.  Unhurried... Unspoiled... Uncommon...

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Location

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Latitude: 39.370722 Longitude: -90.905116 Elevation: 462 ft

History

1800-1809  Early settlement made by pioneers, including James Burns, Samuel Ewing, James O'Neal and Frederick Dixon, were established.

1812-1815  Early settlers were massacred three miles north of Clarksville, at a place known as Jaeger Farm.  After this time, the people moved to Fort Woods at Troy and Ft. Stout Auburn, for safety.

1817  Settlement first became known as Clarksville, named for most probably William Clark, Governor of the Missouri Territory from 1813 to 1820.

1820  "General Putnam", first steamboat to venture north of St. Louis anchored at Clarksville.

1860  Population approached 1200 with dry good stores, grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, meat markets, restaurants, a bakery, one hotel, a printing office, barber shops and eight factories including a vinegar factory, a milling company, a stave and barrel factory, two tobacco factories, a paper mill, a foundry and a saw mill.  Local vineyards yielded 12000 gallons of wine annually.

1880  Population reached 1600.

1886  Clarksville chosen for location of 50 mile bicycle race and 100 mile race in 1887.

1910  Public library built (and still stands).

1921  Public water system completed.

1939  Lock and Dam 24 construction completed.

1962 - Sky Ride construction completed.  This attraction has been closed but is scheduled to re-open in 2016.  The ride travels to the highest point on the Mississippi River.

1966 - Natural gas piped into community.

When Highway 79 was built through Clarksville, it was necessary to widen Second Street, which meant cutting all the beautiful old maple trees that lined this street.  At that time, Mr. Eugene Pettus had a small nursery on his farm, Overlook, south of town, where he was raising golden rain trees, and he gave one or two of these to every homeowner who wanted to replace the felled maples. 

When these trees grew up and began to bloom, Clarksville found it had gained a distinguishing beauty unique to this part of the country.  At its organization, the local Garden Club adopted the golden rain as its club tree; when an Art Guild was formed for Pike and Lincoln counties, it was named Rain Tree Art Guild.  And in 1975 when the Guild held an art show in Clarksville, a table centerpiece created by Mrs. Lucille Seagrass from rain tree blooms was hailed one of the show's real art pieces.

1993 - The great flood of 1993 inundated Clarksville with above flood stage conditions for 187 days.  This was the highest of the three colossal floods in history, the others being in 1844 and 1851.  The city was saved with the help of a great many volunteers. 

2015  Clarksville population 425.

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