Montauk State Preserve

From West Union, take Highway 18 east to Clermont
Clermont, IA 52135


The historic Montauk estate was the home and estate of William Larrabee, Iowa’s twelfth governor (1886–1890). This 46-acre preserve is located one mile northeast of Clermont in northeastern Fayette County. Constructed in 1874, Montauk was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 1976, the Larrabee heirs donated Montauk to the State Historical Society. It was dedicated as a historical state preserve in 1984. The preserve sits atop a bluff overlooking the town of Clermont. In addition to the historic mansion and its landscaped grounds, the estate contains several other buildings and structures, including a caretaker’s house, water tower, well house, laundry, creamery, workshop, barn, corncribs, sheds, vegetable garden, orchard, and statuary. The vintage twostory house was designed by E. Thomas Mix and built in 1874 for $20,000. This twelve-room, Italianate house was made of brick and limestone from a local quarry. The governor’s wife, Anna, whose East Coast family had seafaring ties, named Montauk after a Long Island lighthouse. The sweeping circular drive was lined with bronze statues of Civil War heroes Grant, Sherman, Farragut, and Dodge. William Larrabee resided at Montauk from its construction in 1874 until his death in 1912. One of his daughters lived in the house until her death in 1965 at the age of ninetyseven.

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