Many historic homes and structures are located within the Clarksville Historic District.
The Clarksville Historic District in Austin, Texas, is an area located west of downtown Austin near Lady Bird Lake and just northeast of the intersection of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and West Tenth Street. Many historic homes and structures are located within the Clarksville Historic District. While Clarksville is geographically part of the Old West Austin Historic District, it is distinct from the two historic neighborhoods of Old Enfield which lies immediately to the north on the eastern side of Texas State Highway Loop 1 (commonly referred to as Mopac) and Tarrytown which is situated to the west and northwest on the western side of Mopac.
Founded by freedman Charles Clark in 1871, Clarksville is the oldest surviving freedman's town ‒ the original post-Civil War settlements founded by former slaves ‒ west of the Mississippi River. The historic district was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 in recognition of its unique and valuable history.
The area was originally part of a 365-acre (148 ha) tract of land belonging to Texas Governor Elisha Pease, and in 1871 was sold to Charles Clark, a freedman who would start the community that now bears his name. Clark built a house on what is now West Tenth Street and subdivided the remainder of the land to other freedmen. Just a mile west of Austin, Clarksville soon became a de facto part of the city, especially when the International-Great Northern Railroad laid tracks nearby in the 1870s. The Sweet Home Baptist Church, a cornerstone of the community to this day, was founded prior to 1882, and a school existed as early as the 1890s.