Dwayne Chester, 53, is a Clarksville native who loves his hometown. He shares his experience watching the city grow and talks about the community’s enduring characteristics. “I like it here in Clarksville," he said. "It’s home. It’s never been a bad place to live – everyone retires here, and it’s just a nice community.”

Guthrie Highway

Present day Wilma Rudolph Boulevard was once referred to as Guthrie Highway, with only two lanes. There wasn’t much to see on this road. It consisted mostly of cornfields, one small strip mall with a Dollar General, and a Big Star grocery store.

Madison Street

The McDonalds on Madison Street was once a Dairy Dip where you could grab an ice-cream cone, and then head over to the movies at the Sunset Drive-In Theatre right next door.

Before Rainbow Skating Rink was located on U.S. Highway 41A Bypass, it was located where Hilldale Baptist Church is today. While skating you could snack on mini burgers 10 for just $1.


Two Rivers Mall

Downtown Clarksville was, and still is, a great place to spend free time. Two Rivers Mall and downtown was where Chester’s family would buy everything they needed from furniture, to clothes, before Governor’s Square Mall was built. Woolworth’s and the Five and Dime store was Chester’s personal favorite.

“Hungry Farmer Buffet was the best place to eat over that way - good southern food served buffet style similar to Golden Corral,” Chester said. “It was located in the Two Rivers Mall area before it became Bargain Hunt."

Clarksville High School

At the time, Chester’s mother attended Clarksville High School, located in the present day Penn Warren Apartments on Greenwood Avenue. By the time Chester got to high school in 1976, it had moved where it still stands today on Richview Road.

Chester enjoyed his high school education as a Wildcat, class of 1980.

All football games were played at Austin Peay State University, and their biggest rival was Northwest High School.

After games, he and his friends would dine at Johnny’s Big Burger. It is still a place he loves to grab a burger, and honey bun and cream with his family.

“It was the classic hangout spot and it hasn’t changed a bit.”

Palmyra Statues

When he wasn’t washing cars at a local dealership, you could find Chester with a group of his friends at the Palmyra Statues.


It’s Home

Chester was born and raised here, met his lovely wife Carmen Chester here, and happily says he has no plans to leave this growing city.


“I always said I believe Clarksville and Nashville will connect one day. I can’t believe how big this place has grown,” Chester said. “I’m glad this place kept up with the times and didn’t get stuck in the past like some cities.”