The Church of Our Savior, better known as the "Little Stone Church",
or Episcopal Church, was built in 1857 by Mrs. Francis Jones Vinton,
who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. She remembered the
Bible verse, "Thy Praise shall sound from shore to shore," and
decided to build three churches in memory of her son, Elisha, and a
daughter who died in their youth. One was built on the Pacific
coast, in San Gabriel, California, one on the Atlantic coast in
Rhode Island, and Mrs. Vinton believed Clermont to be the
geographical center of the United State, she chose the site in
keeping with the Bible verse.
The church in Clermont is built of
native stone, quarried from the Williams quarry east of Clermont and
the trim is dolomite. It is said to be the most beautiful of the
three. Age and erosion have turned the rough stone to a beautiful
soft grey. The long narrow windows and the tall square tower add
much to the beauty of the "Little Stone Church".
Just north of the church and in the same block is a beautiful
life size statue and monument erected by Ex-Governor Larrabee to the
memory of Col. David B. Henderson, late speaker of the U. S. House
of Representatives. North on highway 18 and across the street is a
superb monument and bronze statue of Lincoln in a properly fenced in
park. This monument was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Larrabee
while traveling abroad.
On a very prominent bluff overlooking the town of Clermont and
near Montauk, may be seen a rare collection of statuary - the
largest and finest collection in any one private place in the United
States. Here one sees four costly bronze statues -- Grant,
Sherman, Farragut and General Dodge of Iowa. In the centuries to
come , these statues will stand as landmarks to some of America's
greatest men, both in military and civil life. And the generous
giver , Mr. Larrabee, will never be forgotten while deeds of loyal
Iowan's are sought for the future historians. Of such men the world
has none too many.