Montgomery County, Tennessee

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Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The county seat is Clarksville[1]. The population was 134,768 at the 2000 census. It is one of the four counties included in the Clarksville, TN–KY Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The county was named for John Montgomery, a settler who founded the city of Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. The county was initially organized as Tennessee County, North Carolina, but its name was changed in 1796, the year that Tennessee was admitted as a state, to reduce confusion. In the same year, much of the eastern portion of the county was removed from its jurisdiction and incorporated with territory taken from Sumner County to form Robertson County. Subsequent acts of the Tennessee General Assembly further reduced the area of the county; it obtained its current size and boundaries in 1871.[2]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 544 square miles (1,409 km²), of which 539 square miles (1,397 km²) is land and 5 square miles (12 km²) (0.84%) is water.

Montgomery County lies in a region of well-developed karst topography and has a cave system named Dunbar Cave. Dunbar Cave is the centerpiece of Dunbar State Park, which encompasses approxmately 110 acres and is one of the most visited units in the Tennessee State Park System.

Dunbar Cave

Dunbar Cave was explored by prehistoric Indians. Remains of their cane torches have been found in the cave and archaeologists have excavated numerous artifacts inside the entrance. (Larry E. Matthews, "Dunbar Cave", 2005, ISBN 1-879961-22-9). During a research trip into the cave on January 15, 2005, Park Ranger Amy Wallace, History Professor Joe Douglas, local historian Billyfrank Morrison, and Geologist Larry E. Matthews, discovered Indian Glyphs on the walls of the cave. Subsequent investigations by archaeologists from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville confirmed that these drawings were left by Mississippian Era Indians. (Jan F. Simek, Joseph C. Douglas, and Amy Wallace, "Ancient Cave Art at Dunbar Cave State Natural Area", Tennessee Conservationist Magazine, September/October 2007, pages 24 - 26). These Indian Glyphs were featured on the tour of the cave. However, in 2009 the cave was closed due to the presence of White Nose Syndrome detected in one single bat. The above ground portion of the Park is still open to the public.

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