By Capt. Franklin Ellis281


     Clermont was erected from the manor of Livingston, March 12, 1787, and organized the following year as a town.  It formerly embraced all that part of Columbia county lying southwest of Roeloff Jansen's Kill, except original Germantown.  On the 2d of March, 1858, the northwest part of Clermont was annexed to the latter town, reducing its area to a little more than eleven thousand acres.  The shape of Clermont is very irregular.  It extends from the Hudson, on the west, along the Dutchess county line east to the southernmost bend of Roeloff Jansen's Kill, thence down that stream, forming a narrow neck of land in the southeast, to Germantown on its northwest.  North and east are the towns of Livingston and Gallatin.  The name was suggested from the country-seat of Chancellor Livingston, located in this town, and has an apparent French derivation.

     The surface of the town is elevated and undulating.  In general all the land is susceptible of cultivation, but there are some outcropping ledges, as well as small marshes, forming small waste places.  The only streams in the town are small brooks and rivulets, but these are so distributed that they afford good drainage.  The soil varies from a sandy loam to a composition of clay and gritty sand.  It is usually fertile, and the town is noted for its agricultural products.  The hardier varieties of fruit are produced in great abundance.

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