The Middle Tennessee community of Clarksville, Tennessee, was once a bustling transportation hub. It wasn’t just the riverboats plying the Cumberland River that made this region important. Railroads as well proved essential to the farmers growing tobacco in the region.
The Memphis, Clarksville and Louisville Railroad was the first railroad to pass through Clarksville. The state of Tennessee chartered the railroad company in 1852. It built a line between Paris, Tenn., and Guthrie, Ky. that formed an integral portion of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad’s Memphis branch.
In the end, the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville was like so many others born of a fever to construct railroads. It started with great promise, with its owners promising to make it an important connection to the outside world. But in the annals of history, it is merely a footnote.