Our History

In 1891, Congress voted $35,000 to erect a post office/customs house in Clarksville, Tennessee to accommodate the region’s booming tobacco trade. After years of wrangling over plans and costs, the building, which was designed by William Aiken, Supervising Architect of the Treasury, was opened to the public in November 1898.

1984-101-08With its charter in 1983, the people of Clarksville and Montgomery County entrusted this Museum with the collection, preservation and interpretation of this community’s history and culture. From its inception, the Museum has been committed to serving this community. This commitment is reflected through services such as scheduled free admission days throughout the year; free tours to all Clarksville-Montgomery County public schools; and monthly family-oriented special events.

The Clarksville Montgomery County Museum began operations in 1984 in the historical Customs House building at the corner of 2nd and Commerce Street. In 1996, the museum expanded into the full 50,000 square feet campus that made this the second largest general interest museum in the state. Customs House Museum has always been and will continue to be dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life in Clarksville and Montgomery County.

1995-41-07Our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret historical, artistic and scientific material.

Our vision is to expose the widest audience possible to the creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit through art, science, and history within the context of cultural diversity.

The Customs House Museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors through its doors over the years. Our galleries host a variety of both permanent and rotating art, history and science installations that appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.

Our reputation for high-quality exhibitions and publications has enabled us to receive grants from both state and federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.


200 South Second St., Clarksville, TN 37040931-648-5780Open: Tuesday Through Sunday • Closed Mondays