10 Interesting Facts About St. John’s

  • Two sisters (Mmes. Sibell and Towle) began holding Sunday-school classes in 1873 in the clubhouse on Horseshoe Harbor, the site of the present yacht club of that name. This ultimately led to the building of St. John’s in 1891.
  • St. John’s was the first house of worship built in the Village of Larchmont during its most dynamic growth phase at the end of the 19th century.
  • People have been writing about our stained-glass windows since 1895 (see this article from The New York Times in 1895).

  • Many of our stained-glass windows were donated by local families like the Murrays and the Wendts that helped to develop Larchmont as it grew (and whose names also live on in street and school names here). One of the windows was given in memory of Louisa Drew in 1901 by her son, John. Louisa was the grandmother of the actors John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore.
  • The church, consecrated in 1894, was designed by Walter Channing Hunting, a young graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a son of St. John’s parishioners.
  • St. John’s is built in a version of Gothic style now called Victorian, which is characterized on the interior by the use of dark-stained wood and plaster rather than stone and by polished brass fittings and polychromatic decoration (stained glass windows and painted designs on the walls and patterned carpets and fabrics).
  • One of St. John’s most interesting parishioners in its early days was E. F. Albee. Mr. Albee, the father of noted American playwright Edward Albee, was the man credited with starting vaudeville and, later, with introducing what he called “family entertainment.” He saw to it that the best and latest moving pictures were shown at 8:30 every Friday night at St. John’s Parish House.
  • St. John’s, in 1958, was one of the first Episcopal parishes in the country to elect women to its vestry and, in 1973, elected Anne Geary as the first female warden in Westchester County. She became senior warden in 1976.
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, three women from St. John’s were among the first women ordained as Episcopal priests.
  • St. John’s has had a long relationship with The General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. Our current rector, the Rev. Joseph D. Greene III, and our former rector, the Rev. Thomas E. Nicoll, both earned their Masters of Divinity there. Further, St. John’s provides a scholarship for a student there through an endowment.