The Larrabee Story
Lairmont Manor is a historic landmark estate tucked away in the Edgemoor neighborhood of Fairhaven. Most local residents are familiar with the estate as an elegant venue for celebrations of all kinds, largely weddings. Lairmont draws in guests and new friends each year who come to treasure and admire its stunning architectural details, beautiful gardens and impeccably kept grounds. The architectural preservation of Lairmont Manor is truly astounding considering its age. In its 100 years of existence, ways of life and times have changed around it, residents have come and gone and thousands of people have passed through celebrating monumental life events. Amazingly through all of this, the quality of its original structure, its character, and the warmth of its walls are still fully intact.
If only these walls could talk!
Lairmont Manor was originally known as The Larrabee House. It was the dream of Charles X. Larrabee, the co-founder of Fairhaven. In 1914 Larrabee commissioned renowned Seattle architect, Carl Gould, Sr. to design the 25 room Italian Renaissance style home and sprawling estate. Sadly, Charles passed away suddenly before the completion of the project and so his illustrious wife, Frances Payne Larrabee, took over and finished the project. Frances raised four children and thrived as an active and extremely influential clubwoman in Whatcom County. She dedicated her energy and status to civic improvement, social issues and philanthropy. The Larrabee house was the center of many social, political, business and musical events during Frances’s life -- including the welcoming of famed opera singer Marian Anderson, who accepted Frances’s invitation after other Bellingham hosts refused her for the event of her 1941 performance in our community.
Following the passing of Frances Larrabee in 1941, the estate was sold to the Sisters of St. Josephs who operated a school of nursing and hospital, “Mount Saint Mary's Novitiate and Provincial House”.
In 1967 The Larrabee Home was then passed on to its current owners, The Douglas Family. As newlyweds, Barbara and Joel Douglas together with Joel’s mother Mona June Douglas purchased the estate. They decided this historical and architectural gem should be shared with everyone. It was then renamed Lairmont Manor, a derivative of "Larrabee" and "Mount Saint Mary's. Joel and Barbara oversaw its restoration and for nearly 50 years have carefully conserved the estate and are pleased to share it with the community by opening the doors to public and private events. Lairmont Manor is now operated as a non-profit trusteeship. All proceeds from events are used to fund Lairmont Manor's preservation, community education and cultural events.