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Governor William Larrabee Home

Photo courtesy of Jane Jurgens


Standing on a high plateau, over-looking the village of Clermont is "Montauk". Built in 1874 by Governor William Larrabee, Montauk is much more than a frontier mansion. It is a sentinel surrounded by 100,000 pine trees, commanding a village and a valley, gathering to its handsome rooms the taste of the times -- the art and objects of Europe, and a prosperous 19th Century America. The mansion symbolized courage and success when it was built.  More important now, Montauk lives as it did then. It's eloquence is not only in its proportions, but in the memory of times, when the home sounded to the voices of children, and gentlemen of influence, who talked politics and business in the Governor's library.

Mrs. Larrabee christened the home "Montauk", because the site on which it was built reminded her of Montauk Point, Long Island, and brought back nostalgic memories. The original radiators still serve to heat the home. The brick was made in Clermont and the stone quarried in the Williams quarry nearby.  Miss Anna Larrabee, as she wished to be addressed, the governor's daughter, lived there all her life and maintained the home just as her parents had. Mrs. Julia Allen, a granddaughter of ex-governor, has opened Montauk for a museum so all visitors may see first hand the furnishings as they were 100 years ago.

The museum, Montauk, and the Union Sunday School are all a part of a "National Governor Larrabee Inc." with Mrs. Allen as overseer.

~source: The Union, West Union, Iowa, Thursday, July 1, 1976; Section C.

~contributed by Erin Wilker


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