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William Larrabee House (Montauk)

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1874, Edward Townsend Mix. 1 mile east of Clermont on US 18
  • William Larrabee House (Montauk) (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

Montauk is certainly one of the most widely known and photographed of Iowa's houses. This well-deserved fame is due to the renown of its owner, William Larrabee, who was twice governor of the state; to its impressive location on a wooded hill overlooking the Turkey River and Clermont; and to the quality of its design. In style the two-story red brick dwelling is Italianate, and it has the usual characteristics of that mode: arched and circular or elliptical windows, bracketed eaves, and wide entablatures. In plan it has a ten-foot-wide central hall extending from front to back of the house; the symmetry of the plan was made picturesque by the off-center placement of several porches. The design was oldfashioned for the time, although the architect, Edward Thompson Mix of Milwaukee, tended to be quite conscious of the latest fashion in design. However, the Italianate style was employed in many sections of the Midwest and West after 1865, and often, as in the Larrabee house, with great aesthetic success. The heavily planted grounds of the estate and a curved drive lined by statues of Civil War heroes permitted occasional views of the house as one mounted the hill. The house and grounds are open to the public much of the year.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "William Larrabee House (Montauk)", [Clermont, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 371-372.

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