This New York State Historic Site in Columbia County was the seat of the Livingston family for seven generations. Named “Clermont,” French for “clear mountain” because of its impressive views of the Catskill Mountains, this estate was established in 1728 by Robert Livingston. The first house was built in 1740, but in October 1777, British forces sailed up the Hudson and burned the house down after having burned down the City of Kingston. Clermont was targeted because of the family’s role in the rebellion. It was Robert R. Livingston, Jr. who served on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and he would go to administer the oath of office to George Washington as well as negotiate the Louisiana Purchase and develope steamboat technology with Robert Fulton.
After the burning by British, Margaret Beekman Livingston rebuilt the house between 1779 and 1782. Today, the house appears much as it did in its early 20th-century appearance.