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 17
    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 13-October 31 (including Monday Holidays)
    - Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., November 1 through December 17
    - 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 4/1-10/31, weekends and holidays

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The Empire Pass -- whether a card for $80 or a vehicle-affixed decal for $65 -- is your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Apply online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Use Fee
  • Collected weekends and holidays between April 1st – October 31st 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 01 Jul
Votes for Women: Celebrating New York's Suffrage Centennial
Saturday, July 1, 2017 until Friday, July 28, 2017
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

A FREE Traveling Exhibit, July 1-28

Clermont Visitor Center

Wed-Sun 10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

​Votes for Women will celebrate the centennial of women's suffrage in New York State and raise public awareness of the struggle for equal rights, from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention through 1917, when New York State granted women the right to vote. The exhibition will also address the nationally significant role of New York State leaders in women's rights and the feminist movement through the early 21st century.

Sat 29 Jul
The Starry Road to Freedom: A One Man Show about Frederick Douglas
Saturday, July 29, 2017 03:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

The Starry Road to Freedom is a one-man show about the life and legacy of famed former slave, abolitionist, and orator Frederick Douglass. Starring the show's creator, Phil Darius Wallace, this compelling, intimate play has been presented Off-Broadway and around the United States. An exploration of Douglass' life from childhood to his career as a diplomat and statesman told through monologues, poetry, and song, this is a unique opportunity to meet the quintessential self-made man.

​Tickets are $8 adults; children 12 and under are free.​

Note: After the performance, we will host a special Q&A session with the show's creator and star Darius Wallace and other historians to explore Douglass' role in the suffrage and other civil rights movements.

Mon 31 Jul
Junior History Club
Monday, July 31, 2017 until Friday, August 4, 2017 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

Junior History Club: For children 7-12 ($150 per child, $130 per child for Friends of Clermont members) "Campers will explore the museum's extensive grounds, play games, and make historic crafts that will help them to learn about the lives of the Livingston family at Clermont. At the end of the week, the children will put on a performance for their parents, acting in costumed skits as Livingston family members they have researched during the week."

Registration: Required
Tue 01 Aug
Katharine Livingston Timpson: The Woman Who Gave Up Clermont
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 until Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:30 AM - 04:00 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

August 1-October 31: Wednesday-Sunday 10:30am-4pm

November 1-December 17: Saturday-Sunday 10:30am-4pm​

This panel exhibit, hosted in the Visitors' Center, will explore the life of Clermont's Gilded-Age daughter, Katharine Livingston Timpson, and her complex relationship with her home and family. Katharine was John Henry Livingston's only daughter from his first wife. During her youth, Katharine and her father traveled the world, bringing countless treasures back to Clermont. Katharine briefly owned the mansion when she inherited it from her grandfather; money from her mother's family paid for many of the grand improvements of the late 1800s.

Sat 05 Aug
Summer Gala Honoring Mary Kay Vrba
Saturday, August 5, 2017 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Clermont State Historic Site
(518) 537-4240

Friends of Clermont will host a summer gala honoring Mary Kay Vrba, President of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. More information to follow. ​Tickets go on sale in June. Check back at www.friendsofclermont.org for updates.

Get Directions

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