Clarksville was the first incorporated town in the county of Mecklenburg. In 1818, the town was named after its founder, Clarke Royster. Located along the Roanoke River, these lands were originally the home to the Occoneechee Indians and several trading paths wound through the area. The Indians were driven away in 1676 by the British, led by Nathaniel Bacon. Settlers populated the area quickly because of the temperate climate and the fine tobacco soil.
By 1832, Clarksville was recognized as one of the fastest growing towns in Virginia. The Clarksville Tobacco Market was so large and important that The Roanoke Navigation Company was formed to transport the crop by way of the Roanoke River to Petersburg and other areas. They also built a plank road the entire distance from Clarksville to Petersburg – nearly 80 miles as the crow flies – for overland transport. A few years later, the Roanoke Valley Railroad was built from Clarksville to Manson, North Carolina.
By 1848, Clarksville was not only known as a large market for leaf tobacco but also a great tobacco-manufacturing center. Large shipments of tobacco were also exported to Europe. In 1860, the R. H. Moss and Brother Factory in Clarksville was producing more manufactured tobacco than any other establishment in Virginia or Carolina. To date, Clarksville still proudly claims the title of the oldest continuous tobacco market in the World.
The damming of the Roanoke River in the early 1950’s had a tremendous impact on the area, making Clarksville the only town on the 50,000-acre body of water named after an island upstream, Buggs Island Lake. The lake has drawn many visitors and tourists to the Clarksville area for camping, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, water skiing, and all other water sporting activities.
Today, Clarksville is a central gathering and staging point for dozens of fishing tournaments each year – sometimes as many as four simultaneous tournaments in a single day! – as well as a growing center of technology and business. The peaceful, small-town atmosphere combined with close proximity to some major vacation areas (Virginia Beach, the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains are within a 3-hour drive) and to major urban centers such as Richmond Virginia, Washington DC, and the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) makes Clarksville an ideal location for a sportsman’s weekend, getaway vacation, or to relocate and build your company!
Come visit Clarksville On The Lake, and discover a Vacationer’s Paradise!
* Prestwould Plantation – Built 1794-95 by Sir Peyton Skipwith, Baronet & Lady Jean Skipwith. Admission. Open April 15-October 31, Thur – Sat (12:30-3:30), Sun (12:30-3:30) or by Appointment. 434-374-8672
* Rosseechee Springfield Museum – Indian Artifacts and Local History. 289 Tisdale Lane, Clarksville VA 23927. 434-374-8216, fax: 434-374-8216
* Boyd Tavern in Boydton – A National Historic Landmark constructed in 1790. Open by appointment only. 434-374-8127
* Occoneechee State Park Visitor Center & Museum – Experience the Native American Living Culture. Open year round. 434-374-2210
* Buffalo Springs Wayside – Mineral water springs. In 1895 the water sold for $5 a dozen half-gallon bottles. It’s free to the public today. Hwy. 58 West
* MacCallum More Museum & Gardens – Gorgeous five-acre garden filled with cultivated & wild flowers and herbs highlighted by stonewalls. Museum houses many exhibits including Indian artifacts. 603 Hudgins Street, Chase City, VA 23924. Call 434-372-0502 or fax 434-372-3483
* Historical District – Take the historical walking tour and see 62 structures in Clarksville that are listed in the historical register; tour maps available at the Chamber Office.
* Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial Monument – dedicated to the men and women of Mecklenburg County who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces protecting us and our freedom … World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq. Located at the intersection of Highway 58 and Highway 15 South. Open year around.
* South Hill Model Railroad Museum – Located in the renovated railroad depot downtown South Hill and features two operating HO Scale model railroad displays. 434-447-4547.
* Virginia S. Evans Doll Museum – Exhibits more than 500 dolls, some dating back to the 1860’s. 434-447-4547
* Tobacco Farm Life Museum of Virginia – A life-style and activities of the farm family during the early 1900’s and offers displays on the production of tobacco from seed to market, including methods of planting, handling, curing and selling. 434-447-2551