The Paelo Indians are the first native Americans identified who lived along the Cumberland and Red Rivers . Many other cultural groups lived here, among them Woodland and Mississippian, the predecessors of the Muscogee/Creek people who lived in the Tennessee River Valley before the Cherokee migration into the rivers headwaters.
Clarksville was established in 1784 where the two rivers meet. Despite frequent Indian attacks, the settlers persevered, the town survived and prospered. The Cumberland River made the area conducive for commerce. Flat boats, and by the 1820’s, steamboats carried cotton, oats, soybeans and tobacco downstream to Ohio River to Pittsburg, more often from the Ohio to the Mississippi to New Orleans.
Today Clarksville is the fifth-largest city in the state. It’s the fifth-fastest growing city in the nation of cities with a population over 50,000. The city is located on the northwest edge of the Highland Rim which surrounds the Nashville Basin, and is 45 miles northwest of Nashville.