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Clermont was founded in 1884 and named for the French birthplace of A.F. Wrotnowski, manager of the Clermont Improvement Company, formed for land development.
The city was incorporated in 1916. Much of the county initially was developed as orange and other citrus groves, which was the basis of the economy through the mid-20th century. For instance, Apshawa Groves owned and worked large expanses of land in the county. It later became a major real estate company. Tourism also became increasingly important.
The appearance of the historic downtown district has not changed much since 1962.
The population grew 207% from 2000 to 2010, with commensurate economic growth, attracting big box retail stores. In Spring 2010, the Clermont Landings shopping center opened, featuring 20 shops and restaurants and the city’s first cinema. Increased pollution from runoff and residential development has hurt the city’s lakes and other natural resources.
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