||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (July 2014)|
The railway station
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Bernard Villefayot|
|Area1||66.94 km2 (25.85 sq mi)|
|• Density||26/km2 (68/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||55117 / 55120|
|Elevation||163–303 m (535–994 ft)
(avg. 295 m or 968 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The former towns of Auzéville-en-Argonne, Jubécourt, and Parois were joined to Clermont-en-Argonne in 1973.
The town is located along the old road from Paris to Verdun (RN3), which at this point is closely tracked by the A4 autoroute, on the edge of the Forest of Argonne. It is approximately 15 km to the east of Sainte-Menehould.
Clermont's population has declined slightly in the last decade to 1,642 (in 2004), which gives a population density of 24.7 inhabitants per km². The mechanisation of agriculture that took place during the 20th century left this region, which remains overwhelmingly rural, short of employment opportunities: Clermont's economy has tended to suffer from the drift of working age populations to the towns and cities.
In 1819, Norwich Duff wrote 'Clermont en Argonne is a very small town situated on the side of a hill on top of which there is a telegraph, a small church, and very extensive and fine views'.
The telegraph station was one in line of a semaphore line constructed in the Napoleonic period for the rapid transmission of messages between Paris and Landau; but by 1819 France's eastern frontiers had been much reduced, and the final point of this telegraph line was first Landau and after 1819 Strasbourg. The platform where the Clermont telegraph station stood still exists, as do fine views from it in the direction of Verdun to the east. (A line of trees blocks the former panoramic view to the west.) The telegraph line closed in 1852, the year when the rail road linking Paris to Strasbourg was opened. The Clermont telegraph station was destroyed in or before 1916, when the platform on which it had stood was used as the mounting position for a large gun.
Back in 1819 Norwich Duff also recorded that the town 'is said to have manufacturies of paper and glass, but I did not see any of them. Clermont might easily be fortified'.
At the foot of the hill, Clermont is still a small town, its centre not radically 'improved' during the 20th century. It boasts (at least) one excellent restaurant.
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