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Clermont New York Church History

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Religious Societies

It is probable that the Rev. Freeborn Garretson held occasional Methodist services in the town at the time he was presiding elder of this section of the country. But the proximity of the Lutheran and Reformed churches, in Livingston and Geraiantown, prevented the formation of a new religious society in Clermont, from that period until fifty years later. In 1829 the Methodists sent the Rev. John B. Mathias to labor in Clermont, but evidently with- out effect, as no successor followed until nine years later. In 1833, measures were instituted by some of the citizens of the town to erect a house of worship which should afford rooms, also, for academic purposes. Subscriptions were solicited, and with the funds thus secured.

The First Christian Chapel In Clermont

The First Christian Chapel in Clermont was erected in 1833. It is a roomy two-story frame building, centrally located in the village of Clermont, and was designed" for the use of all sects, and to be free for any man of good moral character who may wish to preach the gospel." The property was at first controlled by "The First Christian Society of Clermont," formed Feb. 28, 1834, and had for its first board of tru.stees Jacob A. Turk, Henry I. Shyfer, John J. Elting, and Richard Peary.

From that time to this religious services have been held in this house by the pastors of the neighboring churches and others, without, however, effecting a special organization, except in the case of the Episcopalians. After services had been held in the chapel twenty-five years, by the clergy of the Red Hook and other parishes.

The St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Clermont

The St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Clermont was organized July 2, 1859, under the general act of 18.54. The trustees chosen were W. H. Wilson, Peter R. Livingston, Robert Dibblee, Walter Livingston, Harold Wilson, Henry De Koven, and Robert H. Dibblee.

In the fall of 1859 a very neat little house of worship was erected in the village of Clermont, adjoining the Chris- tian chapel, which was consecrated on the 18th of October of that year, by Bishop Potter. It has sittings for 150 per- sons, and, with the lot on which it stands, is valued at $3500. A small cemetery is also connected with the church.

The Rev. Henry De Koven became the first rector of the parish, continuing until 1860. Since that period the rec- tors and ministers of the church have been : 1860, the Rev. J. W. Moore ; 1861-64, the Rev. J. S. Clarke ; 1865, the Rev. S. S. Dearborn; 1866-67, the Rev. E. Weil; 1868-74, the Rev. W. S. Howe; 1874, the Rev. M. E. Wilson, who is the present rector, and is also the superintendent of a Sunday-school, organized in 1860. The church has 20 members, and the congregation numbers about 100.

A very comfortable parsonage wxs erected by the parish in 1867, on a large lot of ground in the northeastern part of the hamlet. It is reported worth $1000.

The Clarkson Episcopal Chapel

The Clarkson Episcopal Chapel in the western part of the town, was erected about 1860, through the munificence of Mrs. L. Clarkson, who also supports the service of the church, from the parish of Red Hook, as a preaching station of that point. The' chapel does not have a regular organization.

In the northwestern part of the town, just across the line, is the Germantown Lutheran church, whose parsonage and cemeteries are in the town of Clermont. A history of that church and the St. John's Lutheran church in Living- ston will contain a large portion of the religious interest of Clermont.