Clarksville is located southwest of Baltimore and north of Washington, D.C. and many residents of Clarksville commute to work in one of these two cities or their close-in suburbs.
Clarksville's public schools, part of the Howard County public school system, are among the highest-ranked in the nation and often have significantly higher funding than competing private and charter schools.
Clarksville's name originates from John R. Clark's family who immigrated from Ireland to the Howard District of Anne Arundel County in 1790. The land he purchased included Jack Howard's blacksmith shop, one of the few African American operated blacksmith's in the county. Clarksville postal office listed the population as just 65 in the 1930s with the key industry of agriculture and limestone mining. Numerous apple orchards were situated between Clarksville and Ashton. In 1869 the town became the terminus of the ten mile Ellicott City and Clarksville turnpike built over the old Sandy Spring road, a ten-mile private toll road created in a time before county maintained roads which later became route 108.
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