The history of Clarksville, MD is a fascinating one which can be traced back to the colonial era. The first European settlers in this area were primarily French and Dutch farmers who came to live here during the 1700s. They named their new home “Clarks,” after an important British general at that time, Sir Henry Clinton (Clinton).
In 1794, the first post office in Clarks was created and started operating from a home. By 1845, it had become such a prominent commercial center that locals named their town “Clarksville.” This name has stuck with us ever since!
By 1880, new trains were being constructed to bring coal directly into Clarksville. The region thrived and grew quickly throughout the 1800s. The railroads came through Clarks in 1872, along with a new road which helped expand development of the area. The population soared to over 3500 residents by 1880, making it one of the largest towns in northern Maryland at that time.
In 1901, after pressure from developers who wanted to create a planned suburban community on farmland all around town (indeed part of what is now modern-day Clarksville), many local farmers gave up their land so they could make good money for selling it off piece by piece. As people moved into these new houses and businesses sprang up everywhere, there was no room left for farming or agriculture. That’s when “Clarks,” as it was then known, became one of Maryland’s first commuter towns.
The town still retains a lot of the historical buildings that were put up in this era. One such building is at 200 West Main Street and it housed Clarksville Hardware until 1973 when the store moved to its current location on Sykesville Road. Nowadays there are only about 300 residents left living in Clarkston which make it an easy place for people who can’t live without city life to go out into nature while also being close enough to Baltimore or Washington D.C.’s suburbs if they need them.
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