Clermont State Historic Site

Clermont State Historic Site Seven generations of Livingstons lived at Clermont, a riverside mansion with a rich and varied history. Now a museum, it holds a wealth of info on over two centuries of people, from wealthy land-owners to immigrant servants and enslaved African workers.
Clermont State Historic Site is located at 1 Clermont Avenue in Germantown, off Route 9G. The Historic Site features the mansion, formal gardens, scenic Hudson River views and miles of hiking trails. The Friends of Clermont is a private, non-profit educational corporation, founded in 1977 to support and supplement the museum education and historic preservation programs at Clermont State Historic Site. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Clermont is one of six historic sites and 15 parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in the Taconic Region. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit http://www.parks.ny.gov/, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.
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• Gift Shop - located in the Visitor's Center, find historic items for everyone on your list. • Visitors Center - exhibits about Clermont and the Livingston family • 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.

Happy Thursday! Today we're sharing a writing prompt about books and libraries! On the bookshelves at Clermont, we have ...
05/28/2020

Happy Thursday! Today we're sharing a writing prompt about books and libraries!
On the bookshelves at Clermont, we have lots and lots of books (over 2000!). Some of those books are very, very old, dating back to the 1500s. There are even some duplicate copies. For example, we have at least three collections of Shakespeare’s works, each belonging to a different member of the family. By looking at the books we can tell how often they were read and which books might have been favorites for the Livingstons. What is your favorite book? Have you read it many times or had someone read it to you over and over again? What makes it special?

Lavada Nahon, the NYS Bureau of Historic Sites Interpreter of African American History, is doing amazing work interpreti...
05/27/2020
Meet the New York State Parks Interpreter Who Cooks to Uncover the Past

Lavada Nahon, the NYS Bureau of Historic Sites Interpreter of African American History, is doing amazing work interpreting early foodways of the Mid-Atlantic region and the enslaved cooks who fed the upper classes in the Hudson Valley. A great read!

As a culinary historian, Lavada Nahon is working to bring the state's African American history to light.

Happy Tuesday!We hope you can get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather! Whether you're walking around Clermont or wa...
05/26/2020

Happy Tuesday!
We hope you can get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather! Whether you're walking around Clermont or walking around your neighborhood, you can spot all sorta of cool architecture! This bingo sheet comes from Clemens Pantuso Architecture.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
05/25/2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo

This Memorial Day we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

We are forever grateful. #MemorialDay2020

Happy Memorial Day!While you’re enjoying your holiday, we ask that you please abide by social distancing guidelines. Hel...
05/25/2020

Happy Memorial Day!
While you’re enjoying your holiday, we ask that you please abide by social distancing guidelines. Help stop the spread by staying 6 feet apart and wearing a mask.

Missing the mansion?  This rainbow is composed entirely of things we found on the tour floor, in collections storage, an...
05/23/2020

Missing the mansion? This rainbow is composed entirely of things we found on the tour floor, in collections storage, and even our offices. We'd love to see your rainbows. Post them in the comments below to brighten our day!

Happy Thursday!Making dioramas is a fun project we love to do at Clermont Camp. All you need are some recyclables, some ...
05/21/2020

Happy Thursday!
Making dioramas is a fun project we love to do at Clermont Camp. All you need are some recyclables, some paper, glue, and a little inspiration! Take a look at a historic house you love (we have one to suggest, haha~) and create a miniature room inspired by it!
The kids in this picture are using foam core and scrapbook paper to "redecorate" Clermont's drawing room. If you don't have anything around to make a 3D diorama, you can always draw one on paper!

The Court Martial Of Henry Beekman Livingston: The Legal Action That Helped Win The Battle of Saratoga. A new blog entry...
05/20/2020

The Court Martial Of Henry Beekman Livingston: The Legal Action That Helped Win The Battle of Saratoga. A new blog entry by Curator Geoff Benton, check it out! http://ow.ly/EWdd50zKJ7z

Happy Tuesday!Has your family visited Clermont's Wilderness Garden recently? This time of year, the pond is filled with ...
05/19/2020

Happy Tuesday!
Has your family visited Clermont's Wilderness Garden recently? This time of year, the pond is filled with frogs! Check out the comments below to see a great educational video from the San Diego Zoo about frogs.

Happy Thursday! Today's post for families is a writing prompt about signing your name! John Henry had a guest book that ...
05/14/2020

Happy Thursday! Today's post for families is a writing prompt about signing your name!

John Henry had a guest book that he kept in his house for anyone who visited to sign. Some of the names in the book belong to very important people. FDR’s mother, Sarah wrote her name in there! Have you ever gotten an autograph from someone famous? Did you meet them? Or maybe you’ve signed something like a guest book? Tell us your signature stories and then practice writing your name in fun ways (all capitals, bubble letters, cursive, etc).

We're so happy to welcome spring! Clermont is home to many beautiful native wildflowers. Take a virtual wildflower walk ...
05/13/2020

We're so happy to welcome spring! Clermont is home to many beautiful native wildflowers. Take a virtual wildflower walk from your phone or use this handy guide to help identify the beautiful wildflowers you see at Clermont!

Happy Tuesday!A few weeks ago, we shared coloring pages for families to print out and enjoy. Samantha V. Ettari and her ...
05/12/2020

Happy Tuesday!
A few weeks ago, we shared coloring pages for families to print out and enjoy. Samantha V. Ettari and her family shared their work and they look fabulous! If you or your family has been inspired by Clermont's posts to make some art, post it in the comments! We'd love to share it on our page!

05/11/2020
Richard Montgomery

Our curator, Geoff Benton, discusses General Richard Montgomery.

On May 10, 1794 Robert R. Livingston declined George Washington's offer of the job of Minister to France.New York 10th M...
05/10/2020

On May 10, 1794 Robert R. Livingston declined George Washington's offer of the job of Minister to France.

New York
10th May 1794
Dear Sir
Your letter of the 29th Apl with which I was honoured having reached ClerMont the day I left it for this place It was not in my power to return an earlier answer consistant with the deliberation which its importance merrited.
Tho nothing could be more flattering to me than to be the means under your favourable auspices & instructions of cementing the union between France & America countries equaly interested in each others felicity & upon whose prosperity or ruin must in some sort depend the extension or abolition of freedom in the civilized world—Yet having long since had reason to suppose that I shd not soon be called to any public employment out of this State I cannot make immediate arrangments for a permanent residence abroad & am therefore compelled to decline the honor of the nomination which you are pleased to offer to make in my behalf—Permit me however sir to assure you that I have recd this mark of your attention with infinite sensibility since it affords me a convincing proof that my enemies have been less succesful than they imagined in depriving me of your favorable opinion which I always have & always shall esstimate far above the honours & emoluments of office. I have the honor to be Dear Sir with the most respectful attatchment & the highest esteem &c.

Happy Mother's Day!If you're visiting Clermont today, check out our Mother's Day selfie station on the river side mansio...
05/10/2020

Happy Mother's Day!
If you're visiting Clermont today, check out our Mother's Day selfie station on the river side mansion.

05/08/2020
The Moose head

Today our curator talks about one of our most beloved artifacts, the moose head!

The lilac bloom has started!
05/07/2020

The lilac bloom has started!

Happy Thursday! Today's activity for families is plein air painting! As the weather gets nicer and nature comes back to ...
05/07/2020

Happy Thursday!
Today's activity for families is plein air painting! As the weather gets nicer and nature comes back to life, it's a great way to capture the beauty of spring and get some fresh air! Clermont's grounds have inspired painters for years, from Montgomery Livingston to our day campers! We just ask that if you come to Clermont to paint, you practice social distancing.

Clermont State Historic Site
05/06/2020

Clermont State Historic Site

John Henry Livingston, his daughters Janet and Honoria and an unknown dog in 1917.#dogsofclermont
05/06/2020

John Henry Livingston, his daughters Janet and Honoria and an unknown dog in 1917.#dogsofclermont

05/05/2020

Happy Tuesday! Every Tuesday and Thursday here at Clermont, we post content for families!
Today's video showcases a really fun solution to a problem! Normally, our Harvesting History program would be going to schools across the Hudson Valley, showing kids how to grow vegetables and tending Clermont's educational garden. Since schools can't come to us and we can't go to them, our garden educator Leslie has been creating time laps videos of seedings growing!

Happy Star Wars Day #maythefourthbewithyou
05/04/2020

Happy Star Wars Day #maythefourthbewithyou

On May 3, 1788 Alexander Hamilton, Baron von Steuben, Robert R. Livingston, William Duer, James Miles Hughes, Morgan Lew...
05/03/2020

On May 3, 1788 Alexander Hamilton, Baron von Steuben, Robert R. Livingston, William Duer, James Miles Hughes, Morgan Lewis, and Benjamin Walker were chosen to represent New York at the general meeting of the Society of Cincinnati

05/01/2020
UnderWHERE?

In this video Educator Kjirsten Gustavson shows all the layers that went under a woman's dress in 1905 to create the ideal silhouette. This is the sort of outfit that Alice Livingston would have worn when she was engaged to John Henry Livingston.

Happy Thursday! Every Thursday here at Clermont, we post content for families. Today's post is a writing prompt!John Hen...
04/30/2020

Happy Thursday! Every Thursday here at Clermont, we post content for families. Today's post is a writing prompt!

John Henry Livingston, who lived at Clermont from 1848-1927, had a lot of things in his house that had belonged to his ancestors. Not only did he keep portraits of his family but he also kept clocks, chandeliers, and even chairs that earlier Livingstons had owned. Do you have anything in your house that came from a family member? How long has it been in your family? Is there a story behind it?

On this day in 1789 Chancellor Robert R. Livingston issued the first presidential oath of office to George Washington on...
04/30/2020

On this day in 1789 Chancellor Robert R. Livingston issued the first presidential oath of office to George Washington on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City.

On this day in 1794 George Washington offered the job of Minister to France to Robert R. Livingston. Livingston would de...
04/29/2020

On this day in 1794 George Washington offered the job of Minister to France to Robert R. Livingston. Livingston would decline the position.

(Private)
Dear Sir,
Philadelphia 29th April 1794
Circumstances have rendered it expedient to recall Mr Gouvr Morris from his Mission to the Republic of France.
Would it be convenient and agreeable to you to supply his place?
An affirmative answer, would induce an immediate nomination of you, for this appointment to the Senate, and the signifi cation of your sentiments, relatively thereto, as soon as your determination is formed would oblige me; particularly as it is not expected that that body will remain much longer in Session. With very great esteem & regard I am—Dear Sir Your Obedt Hble Servt
Go: Washington

Happy Tuesday! Every Tuesday and Thursday, we post content for families. Today's post is a spooky story about a Livingst...
04/28/2020

Happy Tuesday! Every Tuesday and Thursday, we post content for families. Today's post is a spooky story about a Livingston girl in early New York City.

Janet Livingston Montgomery (1743-1827) was the eldest child of Margaret Beekman Livingston and Robert the Judge. As the eldest child and the first girl in her generation, she had lots of suitors. Some of them thought she was beautiful, some of them loved her, some of them just wanted to marry into the Livingston family for money-- and a lot of them disappeared or died mysteriously!

A few suitors were simply scared off by Janet parents, because they were creeping on their teenage daughter. A few went off to war, never to return. One was a sailor who asked Janet to wait for him-- she said she'd make no such promise and he was lost at sea. One died in a fox hunt, and another, one Janet actually liked, died at a mock-funeral!

Janet was always superstitious and believed she was cursed in love. Even when she found love and married General Richard Montgomery, she was concerned. When the Revolutionary War began, her bother Robert asked Richard to join-- he'd be a general and make good money. Richard was uncertain, but ultimately took the job, leaving a worried Janet at home.

When she got word that Richard had died leading the Battle of Quebec in 1775, she was heartbroken, but not surprised-- a prophetic dream the night before had warned her of his passing.

Janet never remarried. She did, however, go on to become a celebrity in early American culture, as the widow of the first American Hero to die in battle. She was known by name to all of the Founding Fathers and corresponded with them regularly. She could get a meeting with General Washington whenever she wanted and letters of encouragement and gratitude poured in from all over the country. She maintained this status her entire life-- when Marquis de La Fayette retuned to America in 1824, Janet was the first to dance with him.

Janet never let the celebrity get to her. She used her time and money wisely, purchasing a farm and designing a beautiful, romantic home for herself on the Hudson River-- Montgomery Place. She was always a big part in her family's lives, especially her countless nieces and nephews. It was one of those nieces who wrote down her "Remembrances" in the 1820s-- a sort of autobiography of Janet's life as a young girl in colonial New York. In fact, that's the whole reason we know about Janet's Curse in Love!

Bonus writing prompt: Ask your parents or an older person in your life about a fun or exciting story from their childhood and write it down!

On this day in 1795 Abigail Adams Smith wrote to her little brother John Quincy Adams, in Europe, about the state of Ame...
04/27/2020

On this day in 1795 Abigail Adams Smith wrote to her little brother John Quincy Adams, in Europe, about the state of American politics, in particular he passage of the Jay Treaty:

"the British Treaty is now under the Consideration of the House of representatives and there is a party and it is to be feared a Majority who have assumed to themselvs a Constitutional right of deciding upon its merits and adoption— there is an attempt to avoid making the necessary appropriations for carrying it into affect— at the Head of this Party is a Mr Edward Livingston of this City the Younger Brother of the Chancellor how it will terminate is as yet uncertain— it will prolong the session to a distant period— I fear we Shall have a turbulent year"

On this day in 1783 Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter of introduction to Robert R. Livingston for the Conte Francesco dal...
04/27/2020

On this day in 1783 Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter of introduction to Robert R. Livingston for the Conte Francesco dal Verme of Milan who wanted to tour the new country,

Passy, 27 Apl. 1783.
Dear Sir,
The Count Del Verme, an Italian Nobleman of great Distinction, does me the honour to be the Bearer of this. I have not the satisfaction to be personally acquainted with this Gentleman, but am much sollicited by some of my particular Friends, to whom his Merits & Character are known, to afford him this Introduction to you.— He is, I understand, a great Traveller, and his view in going to America is merely to see the Country, & its great Men:— I pray you will shew him every Civility, & afford him that Counsel which as a Stranger he may stand in need of.—
With great Respect I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Sert.
B Franklin
The honble R. R. Livingston Esqr

Photo: the crest of the dal Verme family

Honoria Livingston sits on the porch of Sylvan Cottage scratching a terrier's chin c.1950 #dogsofclermont
04/26/2020

Honoria Livingston sits on the porch of Sylvan Cottage scratching a terrier's chin c.1950 #dogsofclermont

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1 Clermont Ave
Germantown, NY
12526-5632

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Comments

Are the lilacs in bloom yet? Thank you.
The open house is ongoing. Is it simply first come first server today? And is it really busy or when is the best time to come today up to 4pm?
One of the model makers who helped design and build the 1/12th scale model of the Fulton engine was curious as to why there is no reference to Randy Decker's 7 foot model of the North River of Clermont or the animated engine on the web page. Dave (blue shirt) plans to visit Clermont this Spring to inspect and make any necessary adjustments to the display. I plan to join him as might the other to men in the photo.
who wants to go on the candlelight tour of clermont with me? holly? lynda?
Thought you might find this interesting
Another wonderful visit to Clermont. As always, the home was beautifully decorated for Christmas. Thank you to all the staff who dressed in period clothing and enlightened us with many historical stories and information.
Lawn art...
THV is very excited to have Emily Robinson, education assistant, and Susan Boudreau, site manager of Clermont State Historic Site present at our upcoming summer institute! They will be presenting a workshop titled "History Comics Club: Connecting Students to their Heritage One Panel at a Time." If you'd like to learn more about what they'll be teaching and the other workshops offered, check out the link below!