Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Clermont State Historic Site

Skip Navigation LinksHome / Historic Sites / Clermont State Historic Site
Address
One Clermont Avenue
Germantown, NY 12526
Latitude 42.085087
Longitude -73.911835

Clermont State Historic Site was the Hudson River seat of New York's politically and socially prominent Livingston Family. Seven successive generations of the family left their imprint on the site's architecture, room interiors and landscape. Robert R. Livingston, Jr. was Clermont's most notable resident. His accomplishments include: drafting the Declaration of Independence, serving as first U.S. Minister of Foreign Affairs, administering the oath of office to George Washington, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase and developing steamboat technology with Robert Fulton.

Today, Clermont appears much as it did in the early 20th century, when it was the home of the property's last two generations: Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Livingston and their daughters, Honoria and Janet. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Clermont is also an anchor in the 1990 Hudson River National Landmark District.

Don't miss these popular destinations and attractions within or near Clermont State Historic Site:

  • Gift Shop - located in the Visitor's Center, find historic items for everyone on your list.
  • Visitors Center - view exhibits about Clermont and the Livingston's
  • The Four Gardens of Clermont
    • South Spring Garden - gorgeous views of the Hudson River
    • Upper Garden - once provided cut flowers for vases in the house
    • Walled Garden - influenced by gardens in Florence, Italy
    • Wilderness Garden - connects the Upper Garden with the Walled Garden, the centerpiece is the fishpond.

Hours of Operation

  • Guided House Tours
    April 13-October 31 
    Wednesdays – Sundays, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (last tour at 4:00 pm)

    November 1 - December 18
    Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (last tour at 3:00pm)

  • Visitor Center
    - Wednesday – Sunday, 10:30a.m. to 4:00p.m. April 17-October 31 (including Monday Holidays)
    - Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., November 1 through December 28
    - January – April: Special programming and group tours by appointment only.

    For more information or to schedule a group tour, please call (518) 537- 4240.

  • Gardens & Grounds: Open year-round 8:30 am to sunset.

  • Vehicle Use Fee: Collected 4/20-10/31, weekends and holidays

Fees & Rates

Historic sites charge a vehicle use fee and/or admittance fee at various times and locations throughout the year. A list of fees is available below. For program fees or to verify information, please contact the site directly.

  • Vehicle Use Fee
  • Collected Saturdays and Sundays between April 18th – November 1st from 11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., and for special events.

  • Admission/House Tours
  • $7 - adult
    $4 - Children over twelve
    $6 - Senior/student/group rate
    Free - Children under 12

    Please inquire for group & school group rates.
  • Educational Programs
  • $2/student on-site
    $50/class off-site
  • Electric Service for Parties
  • $15
  • Party - Arryl Lawn
  • $600
  • Party - Southwest Lawn
  • $2,200
  • Photography
  • $35
  • Picnicking - Group Picnics
  • $40 - permit
    $50 - over 75 persons
    $100 - over 100 people
  • Weddings
  • $200

The name Clermont derives from the French "clair montagne" for "clear mountain" inspired by the view of the Catskill Mountains across the Hudson River from the 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.

In October 1777, British Major General John Vaughan, who led a raiding party up the Hudson River, came to Clermont and burned Livingston's home because of his prominent role in the American Revolution. Margaret Beekman Livingston rebuilt the family home between 1779 and 1782. Her son Robert R. Livingston became the estate's most prominent resident, serving as a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase. He was also a partner with Robert Fulton, creating the first commercially successful steamboat, the North River of Clermont, commonly called the Clermont, which stopped at the house on its inaugural trip.

 

Guided House Tours:
April 18 - November 1
Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am-4pm (last tour at 4pm)

November 1 - December 20
Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm (last tour at 3pm)

For more information or to schedule a group tour, please call (518) 537-4240

Visitor Center:
April 17 - October 31 (including Monday holidays): Wednesdays - Sundays, 10:30am - 4pm
November 1 - December 20: Saturdays and Sundays, 10:3- am - 3pm
January - April: Special programming and group tours by appointment only.

Gardens & Grounds: Open year-round, 8:30am to sunset

Vehicle Use Fee - Pay Stations: Collected 4/20-10/31, weekends and holidays

 

Potential Fields: a meandering algorithm
An exhibition of site specific sculpture at Clermont. The opening reception will feature performances from Brian Deewan, Slink Moss & Susan Jennings, and Polly Apfelbaum. The exhibition will be up through November 8th.

The Livingstons Get Inked - Exhibit Opening Saturday, October 3, 1-3 pm
Visit Clermont to see an exciting new exhibit about the Livingston family–told through comic art! Four artists have been invited to reinterpret dramas of the Livingstons in their own style. The project is part of an over-arching goal at Clermont to use new media to encourage the public to identify with historic individuals. All stories will be taken from history and selected to support the "ghosts" in the Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours, which will run congruent with the show. The exhibit will remain open to the public during the museum's open hours (Wed.-Sun.) throughout the month of October.

Clermont hosts a variety of annual events throughout the year that highlight the Livingston Family's relationship to the surrounding community. The spring Sheep and Wool Showcase is based on historical model farming events at Clermont, where groundbreaking work in agriculture and sheep breeding occurred. What better place to celebrate Independence Day than the former home of a drafter of the Declaration of Independence. Families will enjoy a variety of music and performances.

The fall is full of spooky wonder as Legends by Candlelight delights visitors with treats, candlelit tours of the house and grounds, ghost stories from the early 20th century and much more! Christmas at Clermont kicks off the holiday season with guided tours, candlelight receptions and children's activities.

Deer, archery only. Limited and controlled hunt from November 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015. Special permit required – by lottery. Orientation session required; strict boundary limits. Call site for details: (518) 537-4240.

 

Sat 17 Sep
Opening Reception -- "Vigil: a space for memory"
Saturday, September 17, 2016 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

Clermont State Historic Site is pleased to announce Brooklyn-based artist Leigh Davis's "Vigil: a space for memory," a site-based installation exploring the power of loss and remembrance through a unique auditory experience. Ignited by the artist's work with a community of women continuing the tradition of bedside singing to the dying, "Vigil" encourages visitors to acknowledge the passing of time and the complexity of grief while visiting a historic home that has itself witnessed countless deaths, war and rebirths. The exhibit space, once a milk shed attached to the main house, is opening to the public for the first time to provide an intimate, meditative environment for the piece. It will create a physical and emotional space for contemplating loss and allowing those emotions to be processed in a public way, thus shattering the cultural norm of silence surrounding death and mourning. The installation will be open to visitors September 17 – October 16, 2016 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Sun 18 Sep
Invasion 1777: The Hidden Battlefield at Clermont
Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:00 AM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

On September 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. join historian Geoff Benton to explore the grounds of Clermont State Historic Site, not as the idyllic playground of the wealthy Livingston family but as the high water mark of the British invasion of the Hudson River Valley from the south. The walk will take visitors to spots of significance to the 1777 attack and then into the house to see some of the family's possessions saved from the inferno started by the rampaging red coats. Admission is $8 and includes refreshments after the walk. Please call for reservations.

Registration: Required
Sun 25 Sep
Community Sing hosted by the Threshold Choir
Sunday, September 25, 2016 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

To deepen the experience of the exhibition "Vigil: a space for memory," and to welcome community engagement on the grounds of Clermont State Historic Site, members of the Westchester and Hudson Valley Threshold Choirs (accompanied by members from NYC) will lead a community sing on Sunday, September 25 from 2:00-3:00pm. The Threshold Choir is an international organization, which trains singers to sing at the bedside of the sick and dying. During the community sing, the choir will offer healing songs to sing along with, or simply listen to.

Fri 21 Oct
Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours
Friday, October 21, 2016 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

Candlelight tours of the museum and grounds; ghosts of the museum's history. Tours at 6:00 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00pm ($10 per adult, $5 per child, all Friends of Clermont $5, reservations required)

Registration: Required
Sat 22 Oct
Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours
Saturday, October 22, 2016 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

Candlelight tours of the museum and grounds; ghosts of the museum's history. Tours at 6:00 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00pm ($10 per adult, $5 per child, all Friends of Clermont $5, reservations required)

Registration: Required

Get Directions

Additional Documents

Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Bridle Path
  • Educational Services (Accessible)
  • Gardens
  • Gift Shop (Accessible)
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Museum/Visitors Center (Accessible)
  • Scenic Views (Accessible)
  • Self Guided Tours
    • Activities
    • Audio-Visual Programs (Accessible)
    • Demonstrations (Accessible)
    • Group Tours
    • Guided Tours
    • Hiking
    • Historic House
    • Picnic Area (Accessible)
    • X-Country Skiing