Former Iowa Governor William and Anna Larrabee spent many years studying school buildings before creating plans to build a state-of-the-art school facility in their hometown of Clermont. Groundbreaking began on the $100,000 brick building in May 1912. The Clermont website details interior features:
The floors of the vestibule and halls are terraza with wainscoting of white Rutland marble with sufficient veins of red and green to show warmth. The stairs also have marble treads and metal railings finished in dark green. All glass is plate – with nearly 5 ton in the entire building. Each classroom has blackboards of extra heavy Pennsylvania slate. The Auditorium… walls and ceiling are white, decorated with staff and bead and rosette designs.
The Larrabee Building served as a community school until 1990. When classes were consolidated to a single school building constructed between Clermont and nearby Elgin, the building was repurposed to serve the community. The public library moved in in 1991. The building also houses city offices, the police department, and the Sheehan-Olson American Legion Post.
The Town Hall and Public Library in the Pocahontas County town of Plover dates to December 8, 1889, when the 26 x 40 feet building was dedicated as the first permanent home for the Plover Presbyterian Church. Constructed at a cost of $1,800, the church was active for 75 years before merging with the nearby Presbyterian Church in the county seat of Pocahontas. It shortly served as an Open Bible Church before being sold to the town in the early 1970s. After some remodeling, the building was repurposed for use as Plover’s town hall and library.
The first public library was organized in the Pocahontas County community of Fonda in 1901 by the Fonda Woman’s Club. The club sponsored the library for 40 years until it was taken over by the city and formal by-laws were adopted on July 28, 1941. The library shares a building with the City Hall and is open five days weekly.
The three-room former town hall building in the Allamakee County town of New Albin was constructed June 24, 1895. Rock and masonry work for the building was completed by Frank Brennan at a cost of $87.50, while the bulk of the structure was built by C.G. Erickson for $488.50. The first paint job was completed by Gene Bellows at a cost of $16.00. The fire bell was added to the December 2, 1901. A fundraising drive was held in the mid-1990s to preserve the historic hall, which has not been actively used for city functions since 1968.
This modest city hall serves the 243 residents in the Louisa County town of Fredonia, which is located east of the Iowa River just a mile away from the larger community of Columbus Junction. Fredonia was plotted in 1836 and quickly became a bustling trading and shipping center. The first hotel was constructed in 1847, while a grist and saw mill was erected in 1855. The town continued to grow into the 1880s, when the population began to decrease. The post office was shuttered in 1920, with mail routed through nearby Columbus Junction.