Clermont State Historic Site

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Clermont State Historic Site is located in New York
Clermont State Historic Site
Clermont State Historic Site is located in the United States
Clermont State Historic Site
LocationOne mile North of Tivoli, New York
Coordinates42°05′09″N 73°55′10″W / 42.08583°N 73.91944°W / 42.08583; -73.91944Coordinates: 42°05′09″N 73°55′10″W / 42.08583°N 73.91944°W / 42.08583; -73.91944
Built1782 (1782)
Architectural styleGeorgian
Part ofHudson River Historic District (ID90002219)
NRHP reference No.71000535[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 18, 1971[1]
Designated NHLNovember 28, 1972[2]
Designated NHLDCPDecember 14, 1990

The Clermont State Historic Site, also known as the Clermont estate, the Clermont Manor or just Clermont, is a New York State Historic Site in southwestern Columbia County, New York, United States. It protects the former estate of the Livingston family, seven generations of whom lived on the site over more than two centuries.


The name Clermont derives from "clear mountain" in French and was inspired by the view of the Catskill Mountains across the Hudson River from the estate.

View of Catskills and Hudson from estate

The estate was established by Robert Livingston following the death of his father, the first Lord of Livingston Manor, in 1728; while most of the manor was inherited by the eldest son Philip Livingston, 13,000 acres (5,300 ha) in the southwest corner, later named Clermont, was willed to Robert. The original house was built about 1740.

Robert Livingston of Clermont died on June 27, 1775 and the estate passed to his son, Robert, who was known as 'Judge Livingston' to distinguish him from his father. Judge Livingston was a member of the New York General Assembly from 1759 to 1768, served as judge of the admiralty court from 1760 to 1763 and was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765. He married Margaret Beekman, daughter of Colonel Henry Beekman. Their son, Robert R. Livingston, later known as "Chancellor", served on the Committee of Five that drafted the United States Declaration of Independence. Judge Robert died about six months after his father, on December 9, 1775.

Burning and rebuilding[edit]

John Henry Livingston's living room.
Another view of John Henry Livingston's living room.

In October 1777, British ships sailed upriver from New York City in support of General John Burgoyne who was north of Albany. That same force had already stormed two forts in the Hudson Highlands and burned Kingston, New York. Major General John Vaughan led a raiding party to Clermont and burned Livingston's home because of the family's role in the rebellion. Margaret Beekman Livingston rebuilt the family home between 1779 and 1782. Robert R. Livingston became the estate's most prominent resident. Chancellor Livingston administered the oath of office to President George Washington, became Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.[3]

In 1793, Robert Livingston built a second mansion on the property—confusingly named "Clermont", it subsequently became known as both "Arryl House" and "Idele"—which burned in 1909. The ruins of that house are still visible at the south end of the property.[4]

He also partnered with Robert Fulton in 1807, to create the first commercially successful steamboat on the Hudson River, the North River Steamboat (later known as the Clermont), which stopped at the house on its inaugural trip.[5]

The home's final Livingston owners were John Henry Livingston and his wife Alice. They added to the home and greatly valued the home's important historical role.[4] Alice Livingston was responsible for creating many of the landscaped gardens that are continued to this day. Following John Henry's death, Alice turned the mansion and property over to the state in 1962 so that all the people of New York.[6]

Present day[edit]

The house is now a New York State Historic Site and was designated a United States National Historic Landmark in 1972.[2][7] It is a contributing property to another National Historic Landmark, the Hudson River Historic District.

Although located in the town of Clermont, its mailing address is in the nearby town of Germantown.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Clermont". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-10. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05.
  3. ^ "Clermont State Historic Site", NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
  4. ^ a b "The Clermont Estate". Town of Clermont. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  5. ^ "A Brief History of Clermony", Friends of Clermont Archived 2007-09-23 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "The Livingstons and their Riverfront House". Friends of Clermont Historic Site. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ Charles W. Snell (April 20, 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory: "Clermont"-Livingston Lower Manor" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1971. (103 KiB)

Further reading

External links[edit]