Perhaps Clermont County is best known as the birthplace of the first Ohio-born president, Ulysses S. Grant in the little river town of Point Pleasant. That birthplace is a bit historic in itself in that it actually toured the country after Grant died, and it actually spent a good bit of time on permanent display on the Ohio State Fairgrounds inside a specially built pavilion. Here it would remain until it was finally dismantled and returned to its original location in Point Pleasant and opened to the public in 1936.
For some reason Clermont County had a particular attraction for religious leaders. While we're not sure if there was a specific date that this happened, Clermont County became the location where the first camp meetings were held in 1816.
Lorenzo Dow, a pale faced man with a long beard and piercing eyes drew big crowds at a clearing in the woods where he would camp. His outdoor religious meetings would draw 100s of locals to hear his message of confess, repent and salvation.
Years later a small village called Utopia was formed. Utopia was formed in 1844 and was loosely based on a belief system created by the French philosopher Charles Fournier. We would later know this philosophy as communism. The followers of the French philosopher that created Utopia, Ohio believed that the world would enter a 35,000 year long period of peace. They also believed that to achieve enlightenment, members must live in communes with one another. This was a short-lived experiment that quickly failed. The small village was then purchased by another spiritualist who hoped to move his commune of followers from back east to the banks of the Ohio River.
His decision to set up his idealistic community along the Ohio River would prove to be a bad decision. After moving the town hall even closer to the river in 1847, during a celebration that had most of the town's people gathered in the hall, a flash flood came down the Ohio River and destroyed the building along with 150 of those gathered inside.
Clermont County Origins
Clermont Count is the 8th oldest of all 88 Ohio counties. It was established in late 1800. The name Clermont supposedly is an Anglicized translation of the French words Claire Mont meaning clear hills. Whether that's true or not is questionable. It is also claimed that it is named for a town named Clermont in France which is one of the oldest cities in France.
The first county seat was in Williamsburg, but that was temporarily moved to New Richmond for a year before it was permanently moved to Batavia.
During the Civil War, Confederate General John Morgan spent the night in a Williamsburg tavern after stealing a team of horses from a stagecoach in Batavia. Earlier in the day that successfully derailed a train not far from Loveland.
During a major flood in 1937, many of the river towns in Clermont County were almost totally destroyed including Moscow, New Richmond, Neville, and Chio. The little village of Neville was laid out in 1808 on land granted to General John Neville for his service in the Revolutionary War. John Neville never actually came here, but his son Presley Neville founded the town and named it after his father.