When one passes through Clinton, Louisiana, it is easy to miss the many historical and architectural jewels that this town has to offer. There is the historic courthouse in the center of town that catches everyone’s attention and other buildings that can be seen along the traveled highways through town. It only takes a few minutes to get off the beaten path and to turn up some sights that one would never expect to see.
The Marston House, churches, old schools, Sillman Institute, The Confederate Cemetery and other places are there for those that do a little exploring. One unique church has been providing “atmosphere” in Clinton since 1871.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church sits atop a small hill. Although it is in a small built up area St. Andrews commands the view and gives the impression of an isolated rural church. The church even retains the original stained glass. It is very beautiful in its rural setting with blooming trees and flowering bushes and tall pines dotting the grounds.
St. Andrew’s can best be described as an example of “Carpenter Gothic.” “Carpenter Gothic” was popular in America, especially for rural churches in the middle of the 19th century. Popular is a relative term in that the style was not used that much in Louisiana. Perhaps there are a half dozen examples in the whole state.
St. Andrew’s Church expresses itself quietly and beautifully in its setting. Completely made of wood, its light members and vertical proportions, in addition to being Gothic, are considered to be in keeping with wood construction.. The structure presents itself in the proper proportions and in no way does it suggest a massive and heavy style.
A visit to the grounds of this church is a “spiritual” experience. Not spiritual in the religious sense but in the sense that the mind and heart are indeed brought to a higher level and all it takes is to roam around the grounds – one doesn’t even have to think about things – which is a hard thing to do when you visit here.