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, 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 both major vacation areas ( Virginia Beach area is within a 3-hour drive and the Appalachian Trail and Great Smoky Mountains are within a 4-6-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!