Clarksville is an unincorporated community in Howard County; the second wealthiest county in the United States according to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau. The community is named for William Clark, a farmer who owned much of the land on which the community now lies and served as a postal stop that opened on the 4th of July 1851.
Some of the most expensive homes on the East Coast are located in or around the town, whose property values are among the highest in the county. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Clarksville District 5 has a population of 56,239, with an estimated average income of $195,124, with median income of $160,606.
The village of River Hill (which include Pheasant Ridge and Pointers Run), the newest addition to the Rouse Company development of Columbia, is adjacent to Clarksville.
Clarksville 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.
The area 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-suburbs.
In 1699, Thomas Browne, a Patuxent Ranger, ranged the river from the Snowden plantation to where Clarksville is sited.
Clarksville’s name originates from John R. Clark’s family who immigrated from Ireland to the Howard County District of Anne Arundel County in 1790. The area was settled with tobacco plantations such as Folly Quarter and Hobbs Regulation with slave labor. In 1838, Dr. William Watkins of Richland Manor proposed the “Howard District” of Anne Arundel County, which became Howard County in 1851. 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 ten mile Ellicott City and Clarksville turnpike built over the Sandy Spring road, a ten-mille private toll road created in a time before county maintained roads which later became route 108.
Clarksville is perhaps best known for its highly successful high school, River Hill. The school made the 397th rank on Newsweek’s Top 1,200 High School. River Hill, opened in 1996. It has 1,652 students and ranks as one of the top schools in the state of Maryland. In 2005, River Hill had a 97.55% graduation rate, ranking the highest in Maryland. 86.3% of its students passed the HAS (High school Assessment). River Hill is also very successful in sports, capturing numerous state titles in many sports. The boys’ soccer team has captured three of the last four class 3A state titles (losing in 2006 to rival Mount Hebron). In 2007 River Hill won five state championships in the fall: Football, Boys and Girls Soccer, and Boy’s and Girl’s Cross Country. In addition, Clarksville Middle School’s Wind Ensemble attended the prestigious Midwest Clinic in 2009, being the first middle school from Maryland to perform there.
It is also the home of the world-renowned Team Rocket Zero Robotics team, a part of the River Hill High School computer science program