Clermont County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 197,363. Its county seat is Batavia. The county is named for the Clermont Province of France and means "clear mountain." Founded in 1800, it is Ohio's eighth oldest county and the state's furthest county west in Appalachia.
Established in December 1800, Clermont County is the eighth oldest of Ohio's 88 counties, and is the eleventh oldest county in the Northwest Territory. Clermont is a French word meaning "clear mountain," which described the area when it was first viewed by French explorers in the 1600s. A number of Native American tribes called this area home, including the Shawnee, Miami, Delaware, Mingo, Ottawa, Cherokee, and Wyandot. The last Native American village in the county was located two miles south of Marathon in Jackson Township, along the mouth of Grassy Run on the East Fork of the Little Miami River. The Wyandot lived there until 1811. That location was the site of the largest frontier battle in Clermont County, the Battle of Grassy Run, where pioneer Simon Kenton clashed with Native American warrior, Tecumseh, on April 10, 1792.
The first village and the first Clermont County seat, was the Village of Williamsburg, established in 1796. In 1823, New Richmond became the county seat, and in 1824, it moved to Batavia, which remains the county seat today. Clermont County was home to President and military hero, General Ulysses S. Grant, born in Point Pleasant on April 27, 1822. He became commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and was the eighteenth president of our country. His birthplace in Point Pleasant (originally a one room cabin) continues to welcome visitors today. In 1890, General Grant's birthplace was removed from its original location, and traveled by boat to be viewed by citizens, along various waterways. It was also taken to the Chicago Worlds Fair, before making its way back to Clermont County.
A stone dairy house, built in 1800, is thought to be the oldest standing structure in Clermont County. It is located beside Harmony Hill on South Third Street in Williamsburg. Harmony Hill (one of the areas first farms) was built by William Lytle, who was one of the first surveyors of the county. The last covered bridge in Clermont County stands on Stonelick Williams Corner Road, near US 50; it was built in 1878. The Bullskin Trail (once a major pathway for Native Americans) runs north and south through the county along State Route 133, and was also used by frontiersmen Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone on hunting and warfare expeditions. John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate raiders invaded the county in 1863. George Washington once owned three parcels of land in Clermont County.
In 1900, a group of clergy from numerous Protestant congregations and the Catholic Church gathered to create a list of ten places on Earth where the Garden of Eden could have been located. Among the locations named were places in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Also on the list was Clermont County, Ohio – listed for its many fruiting trees and the early influence of American Indians who built earthen mounds in the form of serpents. Subsequently, prominent men from Hamilton County dedicated Eden Park (Cincinnati) in eastern Cincinnati facing Clermont County to honor the distinction.
In 1905, Democrat John M. Pattison of Owensville, became the first Clermont Countian to be elected governor of Ohio. Pattison lived in Milford, residing in a mansion that is known as Promont, which he used as the official governor's mansion. That structure is now a museum that houses a library and other historical memorabilia. It is located at 906 Main Street in Milford.