Explore this new access to the Customs House collections.
Two rooms available for rental! Ask about it today!
See our web page for Publications and other sales.
Montgomery County Historical Society Our charter is to promote interest in and the enjoyment of the history of Montgomery County, TN and adjacent areas; to ascertain, preserve and promote local history; to identify and preserve local historic sites, structures, artifacts and other materials and promote their preservation; to hold periodic meetings in keeping with the interest of the society.
The first train station, built in 1859, was located on Depot Street. There was a passenger station, freight station and hotel when the Memphis, Clarksville and Louisville lines opened on April 15, 1861. L&N moved the passenger station to its present location in March of 1882. The present frame building was remodeled in 1901. There were further alterations made in 1916 and 1924. The last ticket sold for passenger service was on February 28, 1966. The train station closed down completely in the mid-1970's. In 1982, L&N sold the station and an acre of land to the city of Clarksville for $12,000. In 1995, with Tennessee's Bicentennial only a year away, local citizens formed the Tennessee 200 Montgomery County Bicentennial Committee and began restoration of the train station with donations of money and labor. The ribbon cutting for completion was on August 9, 1996. The L&N Train Station is now home to the Montgomery County Historical Society and is used for meetings, dinners, art shows, birthday parties, showers, weddings and other rentals. There is a static display of a diesel locomotive and a former Illinois Central caboose next to the station. Free tours of the station, its museum and gift shop are available during staffed hours. Donations are gratefully accepted. You can rent the station any day of the week between the hours of 7am and 10pm for $50/hour! It is a great place for birthday parties, dinners, meetings, ceremonies, church services, bridal teas or baby showers! You can fill out a rental agreement form at the station or online at our website www.mchsociety.org
Mission: The Montgomery County Historical Society was formed in 1924 with the following mission: to promote interest in and enjoyment of the history of Montgomery County, Tennessee, and adjacent areas; to ascertain, preserve and promote local history; to identify local historic sites, structures, artifacts and other materials and promote their preservation; to hold periodic meetings in keeping with the interest of the society.
Explore this new access to the Customs House collections.
Would you like to participate in a historical documentation project?
Would you be willing to share how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected your life here in Clarksville thus far? Future generations will want to hear our perspectives and think about our experiences during this life-changing time in our community, state, and nation. Tracy Jepson is creating a file of social histories to submit to our local archives for safe keeping.
If you would like to participate, please email to her at [email protected] with the following information:
3) Occupation or status as retired, disabled, or at-home parent, etc.
4) A paragraph or two as to how the pandemic has changed your life thus far. How has it affected your workplace, home life, and daily routine? Also, what are your main concerns at this moment as we navigate this situation and what are your concerns about the future?
Thanks to everyone who would like to participate!
Historical Interpreter, Fort Defiance Interpretive Center
We are missing our meetings, but we can enjoy this new recording of a great program from last year. It is just as good the 2nd time!
Copy and paste this link in your browser.
Learn about the history of the Porter's Bluff neighborhood of Clarksville, Tennessee - the Porter family, how they used the land, and how the land was used a...
March meeting of the Historical Society is cancelled.
The program on Eleanora Willauer will be rescheduled in the future.
From the Montgomery County Archives
Emma Lee Dunlop Moss-Horn, 1916 – 1998
“I paint black. That’s my dignity, by saying this is from a black and I paint black. But it doesn’t matter what color, I just like people.”
Emma Lee or “Moss” as she was affectionately known, nationally recognized black folk artist, spent most of her adult life in Texas but her roots are deep in Montgomery County. Emma Lee, daughter of Richmond and Mettie (Dinkins) Dunlop, was born on the St. Bethlehem farm of her grandmother, Caroline (Bowling) Dunlop in 1916. She became the housekeeper and nanny for the Thomas Norfleet Figuers family who moved to San Angelo, Texas in 1946. Emma became very interested in the art lessons of little Tommy Figuers and was encouraged by Mrs. Figuers to take art lessons herself. At the time she was attending classes at San Angelo College (now a state university), she was the only black student enrolled. She painted for a few years, then married and put her brushes and paints away.
In 1978, living with the Figuers family in Dallas, she was encouraged to paint again. Her first exhibit was in June 1987 as part of a group exhibit for the Museum of African American Life and Culture in Dallas. She moved back to San Angelo in the 1980s, and later returned to Clarksville and lived at Spring Meadow Health Care until her death in February 1998.
She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Clarksville. She has been called the black Grandma Moses due to her distinctive and primitive art style. Her works have been shown in galleries and museums across Texas and the United States, and are found in a number of private, public, and corporate collections.
This event is free and open to the public! Location is Morgan University Center.
From the Montgomery County Archives:
This week's Montgomery County Black History Month featured individual is Hiram Johnson, c. 1852 – 1932.
Montgomery County native and skilled African-American artisan Hiram Johnson had a hand in creating many of the old monuments in Greenwood, Golden Hill, and Evergreen Cemeteries in Clarksville. As a child, he lived in the household of English-born stone cutter, Sam Hodgson for whom he worked. Advancing in his craft as a stone cutter, stone polisher, and sculptor, Johnson continued working with the next generation, Lee M. and Sam J. Hodgson, for over fifty years at the Clarksville Marble Works on North Second Street. He died at his South 11th Street home in 1932 and was buried in Golden Hill Cemetery.
From the Montgomery County Archives:
Each week during Black History Month, we will highlight an uncommon African American connection to Clarksville, Montgomery County. This week's feature, from the Montgomery County Archives, is Roland Hayes.
World-famous tenor Roland Hayes, born in north Georgia, became one of the famed Fisk Singers. Attending school in Nashville, he became one of the renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. In the early 1900's, while working at a local Clarksville tobacco factory to earn tuition money, he gave one of his first, if not his first, concerts. Held at St. John Baptist Church, the admission was 10 and 15 cents – a far cry from later tours in both the United States and Europe. His first American tour was in 1923. Recognized as one of the earliest, serious black artists, he was a pioneer in introducing African-American spirituals as concert music.
Suffrage Centennial commemoration is all over the U.S. and starting already.
Last week, the “Years of Hope, Years of Courage” float celebrating women’s suffrage won best themed float in the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day.
Read more about this recognition, and the float here:
This a Nashville Public Television original documentary narrated by Roseanne Cash. Will air on the 21st and repeat on the 24th.
Another Suffrage Fast Fact!
BY ONE VOTE: WOMAN SUFFRAGE IN THE SOUTH, NPT's documentary marking the centennial of Tennessee's historic 1920 vote to ratify the 19th Amendment, premieres Thursday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. Rosanne Cash narrates.
#NashSuffrage100 #WomensVote100 #CitizenNPT
If you plan to attend, contact Phyllis Smith at [email protected]. There is no charge. Morning session will be instruction with practice in the afternoon at Mt. Olive Cemetery. Lunch on your own.
An historic building used to stand here. Now it is a paved lot.
So far this year, three historic buildings in zones that ostensibly offered them specific protection have been sentenced to demolition. Three were presented for consideration; three approved for demolition in spite of significant arguments for preservation - 100% historic preservation failure.
Great opportunity for local history!
Don't miss the Bicentennial Symposium: FPC & Clarksville, 1842-1882 on September 14 from 10:00am-3:00pm. We will host a presentation of FPC’s history within the context of forty years of rising tensions, civil war, and reconstruction in our town, denomination, and the nation.
Houston County Historical Society Erin Tennessee
Thanks Gary Booker for the pictures.
This is the 41A Bridge at the Red River.
In picture scan Gary Booker 0012(2)
men standing in front right L - R Garner R. Smith, Gary Booker.
Houston County Historical Society Erin Tennessee
More pictures from Gary Booker.
Mcclure Bridge 1968+-.
Men on Bridge L to R Darrell Parker, Garner Rowe Smith.
Thanks for sharing Gary.
Application to demolish this 1890's home will come before the Historic Zoning Commission Monday, August 26 at their 3:00 meeting, Regional Planning Commission.
The Historical Society supports preservation of this home.
We encourage everyone who shares this view to attend the meeting and advocate denial of the application to demolish.
~ 634 Madison Street ~
Several prominent families have called the house at 634 Madison Street home over the years. Built by N.V. Gerhart sometime between 1892 and 1898, it was sold to the Trustees of the First Baptist Church following Gerhart’s death. The property changed hands a few more times before it was purchased by Lawrence Newton (L.N.) and Mary Byers in 1912. The couple was married in 1903, and at the time that they purchased the house they had a six year old daughter named Laura Conrad Byers. After growing up in the house, Laura eventually married Thomas White in 1935. They moved in with her parents and had a daughter, Laura Conrad “Connie” White. In this circa 1944 picture, Laura “Connie” White and her mother sit on the steps in front of their Madison Street home.
Like his father before him, L.N. Byers owned a small insurance business located in Clarksville. Byers kept his business small, with only himself and one other staff member until 1946 when he teamed up with Brown Harvey Sr. to establish the company Byers and Harvey. The company later specialized in subdivision real estate.
The house at 634 Madison Street remained in the Byers family for more than 50 years. The family eventually sold it in 1964 following the death of L.N. Byers the previous year.
(Images courtesy of Laura Van Ness, the Clarksville Real Estate Appraisal Card Collection, and Google Maps)
So saddened to lose another truly cherished member of our Society. Always generous and helpful, her presence has been a joy we will not forget.
Tribute for | Inga Anna Filippo, 76, of Clarksville, TN, passed away on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at her residence. Inga was born on October 24, 1942, in Sundsvall, Sweden to the late Ingvald Naslund and Greta Stahl Naslund. She was also preceded in death by her son, Joseph Semone...
So many wonderful memories and a great legacy.
Details of visitation on Sunday and Monday service are in attached article.
Funeral set for Monday at First Presbyterian
Clarksville's Suffrage Commemoration statue, Tennessee Triumph, will honor our local Suffragists - 39 identified so far. See http://www.artsandheritage.us/tn-triumph-womens-suffrage-statue/ for more information and to donate.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States with the ratification of the 19th amendment by the Tennessee General Assembly. By the summer of 1920, 35 states had ratified the Amendment, bringing it just one state shy of the constitutional majority needed to make it law. When the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to ratify on August 18, 1920, Tennessee became that crucial final state, earning itself the nickname The Perfect 36. Over the next year, we will be sharing stories of the women’s suffrage movement from across the state to celebrate Tennessee’s unique role in this major turning point in American history. This first story in our series explores the origins of the women’s suffrage movement in the Volunteer State. #Perfect36 #Suffrage100 #RightfullyHers
Click the link below to read more:
UPDATE: Assessment of the building commissioned by Regional Planning found that it can be restored. The Historic Zoning Board voted Aug. 26th to deny the application for demolition.
During the same meeting, the Common Design Review Board approved the demolition of the !890's home at 634 Madison Street.
July 22nd vote on the old Methodist Church was to delay action for 30 days during which an evaluation will be performed by an engineer with expertise in historic buildings. Many thanks to those who showed up and emailed to support this positive action.
A second chance for a building that deserves it!
Demolition application vote scheduled for Monday, July 22nd at 3:00, Regional Planning Commission, 329 Main Street.
MCHS advocates an independent assessment of this building.
Urge Historic Zoning Commission to deny application to demolish.
Attend the meeting if you can or email your comments to [email protected]
Old Methodist Church, 4th & Main, built 1830, is Clarksville's earliest church building and one of the few remaining pre-1850 structures.
March 22nd at APSU
Col. William A. Forbes and the 14th TN Infantry is Ferrell's 9th published work.
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
One hundred-fifty-seven years ago today, the first Union victory of the Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson Campaign occurred, and in addition to opening up the Tennessee River to a mostly uncontested river access all of the way into northwestern Alabama, the engagement signaled a significant advancement in, and test of, inland naval warfare.
The just received, state of the art (our term), heavily armored and significantly armed "city class" ironclad gunboats were fully a new weapon that would change inland naval warfare.
The battle for Fort Henry was the first formidable test of these vessels in combat - proving the sheer benefit of the design, but also bringing realization that the modern gunship was not without its vulnerabilities.
The mission of the growing Western Gunboat Flotilla prior to the campaign was to defend the upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers and intercept contraband heading south. When the ironclads were completed the flotilla had an offensive power, but unfortunately, Flag-Officer Foote did not have enough men to man all of the available vessels.
On this date, February 6, 1862, for his first major operation on the western waters, Foote used four ironclads, and the three wooden gunboats, which held-back for long-range, but less effective, fire against the fort. Five other ironclads were laid up for repairs or were immobilized for lack of available men to serve on the vessels.
The seventy-five minute heavy bombardment between the new gunboats and that of Fort Henry was intense. The boats absorbed the blows of many hits, and the USS Essex was disabled by a single shot that proved devastating to those on-board.
A chance 32-pound shot penetrated USS Essex, hitting her middle boiler, sending scalding steam throughout half of the ship. Thirty-two men were killed or wounded, including her commander, William D. Porter, and the ironclad was forced out of action for the remainder of the campaign.
After an hour and a half of shelling the boats drew to pointblank range and forced the battered garrison to surrender.
The bulk of the Confederates escaped, but Confederate Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman had remained behind with a small force to man the guns, and was captured.
The first real test of the new ironclad gunboat design proved a success, and this purely naval victory propelled Foote to national renown and sent a wave of panic throughout the western Confederacy.
Only eight days later the second test for Federal squadron would take place -- on the Cumberland River directly below the heights of the batteries of Fort Donelson.
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Newspapers are some of the most valuable resources for piecing together history. On Jan. 26 the Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting a free workshop with tips and tricks to make your newspaper research more fruitful.
Attendees will watch 'Old News is Good News: Using Historical Newspapers for Your Research' presented by Genealogist Taneya Koonce, MLS, MPH. Koonce is an avid genealogist with more than 18 years of professional experience in information organization and management. Koonce is also the State Coordinator of the TNGenWeb Project, is a Board Member of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, and is President-elect of the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Koonce will navigate attendees through the benefits of using historical newspapers and highlight strategies to make the newspaper research process even more successful.
The workshop will be held 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Library and Archives auditorium. Although the presentation is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium. For more information, visit our blog at: https://tslablog.blogspot.com/2019/01/library-and-archives-hosts-free-how-to.html
To reserve seats, please visit newspaperresearch.eventbrite.com
Thanks to our Master Gardener volunteers! We appreciate you.
Tennessee State Library and Archives
The Tennessee State Library and Archives is pleased to announce that Tennesseans will have free online access to the full run of The Tennessean (1812 to today) through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).
For more information, visit https://sos.tn.gov/news/tennessee-state-library-gives-free-access-190-years-tennessean
Clarksville High School on Greenwood after 1916 fire.
~ Old Clarksville High School ~
Clarksville High School first opened in 1907 on Greenwood Avenue. The $40,000 building represented a commitment to providing quality public education to local students. By 1910 the school was opened up to students living outside the city limits. Enrollment surged and work began on an addition to accommodate more students. Unfortunately, just as the addition was complete the original building was destroyed by a fire on November 19, 1916. Work quickly began to rebuild the school, and by 1918 it was open for classes again. The building remained in use until the 1960s when it moved to the current location on Richview Road.
(Images courtesy of the Library Genealogical Materials Collection)
189 10th St
GIFT SHOP and MUSEUM are OPEN TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS and SATURDAYS, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Tours are available at no charge. The TRAIN STATION is also AVAILABLE for RENTAL. For information on rentals, visit our website at www.mchsociety.org Watch for our FARMER'S MARKET in the Spring!
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