Thursday, February 7, 2013

Last Train to Clarksville

c.1898 Customs House in Clarksville, TN

Ever get a song stuck in your head while traveling?....



Here are some more photos I took while in Clarksville, last week.   This is actually the town's sixth courthouse, as the city has been ravaged by fires, floods, and tornadoes since its founding in 1785. 


Clarksville had quite a heyday in the 1800's, thanks to its tobacco crops and port on the Cumberland River.

I saw lots of Italianate architecture....      



And some stately antebellum homes on hills....


With lots of infill development from the 20th century...


Did I mention that the temperatures did not get out of the 20's the day I was there?  Hence, the glare of windshield in some of my photos.


Look at that house, again.  Do you think the front angled portion was added later than the original portion?  

This front room may be an addition.....


This was a cute neighborhood.  I referred to those houses as "infill" because all three of those homes and others sit on land that used to be part of this antebellum property....


Fortunately, the family did not sell off ALL of  the large expanse of land in front of the home.  They left a large lawn in front and those cute homes above face this park-like view.  Nicely done.

This next Greek Revival home also once sat on a large expanse overlooking the rivers......


Now the view from that front walk looks like this.....


Not a park-like view.  The 1950's and 60's must have also provided a housing boom for Clarksville, as lots of brick ranch homes surround many of the 1800's homes in Clarksville.   Tobacco, again - I am guessing.

I always love this mid-western Prairie-style look.  So regal. ..



Tobacco was quite popular in the early 1900's, after all.  Lots of Craftsman and Prairie Style homes in the area.

This next house has a nice spread on a ridge.....





Down by the Cumberland Riverfront- very close the the business district are lots of infill businesses.  Commercial structures next to historic homes.  On a five lane.




What is that just past the Animal Hospital?......



Oh, why it is a large Italianate mansion over looking the Cumberland River errr, I mean Animal Hospital.



Once I stopped being so critical about the lack of zoning and plethora of infill construction, I researched Clarksville and learned that the town has been through several natural and man-made disasters in the past 200+ years. I mentioned the 1999 tornado, here.   There was also historic flooding in 2010, not to mention the Civil War, a tornado in 1884, other floods, and a giant fire in 1878 that wiped out 15 acres of downtown.  I imagine the occasional floods make it difficult to develop the areas near the river (which is where the animal hospital sits).  There must be plenty of damaged buildings and empty lots available for rebuilding every couple of decades.  I personally am glad they have preserved so many of the historical structures.  Glancing past an empty storefront and spying a Greek Revival mansion is like finding a hidden gem or a four-leaf clover.     





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1 comment:

SouthMainMuse said...

I read this post and thought, dang - I've never seen those homes in Clarksville. Then I looked at your last post and saw where it was Clarksville, TN. And I always have that song on my iPod. Did you know it was about a guy leaving for war? Kind of makes me sad every time I hear it now.

 
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