Charles "X" Larrabee
Fairhaven Entrepreneur
 

Born in Portville, New York, in 1843, and raised in Omro, Wisconsin, Charles William and his family were deserted by their alcoholic father, William Larrabee.  In his early teens, Charles changed his middle name to Xavier, thereby "X-ing” out his father’s name in favor of Xavier, the only name he could think of to go with the "X”. 
 
With his considerable fortune from the copper mines and his Montana ranch, Larrabee moved further west to Portland in 1887 where he established business dealings with investor, Nelson Bennett and railroad magnate, James J. Hill.  Bennett at this time was promoting development in and around the burgeoning town of Fairhaven on Bellingham Bay.  After several visits, Larrabee relocated to Fairhaven in 1890. 
 
Early in 1890, on a trip to Boston, C.X. Larrabee met a bright and talented young woman from Missouri, Frances Frazier Payne, whose family records a rich history in the growth of our nation.  They were married on August 2, 1892.  Frances (Fannie) was 25, Charles was 49. 
 
Upon their arrival in Fairhaven, C.X. and Fannie took up residence in the elegant Fairhaven Hotel, built and owned by Larrabee.  Their entire marriage, and the birth of their four children was spent in this grand hotel.  The hotel, however, ultimately failed as a business enterprise due largely to Larrabee’s ban on the serving of alcohol on the premises.  He had blamed alcohol for the desertion of his family by his father when Larrabee was a young boy.

The Larrabees decided to build a family home on property they owned in what is now the Edgemoor neighborhood--a name derived from their description of the land south of their home site as "the moor.”  Noted Seattle architect, Carl Gould, was hired to design what would become a 25-room mansion.

C.X. Larrabee, however, died before construction commenced, and Frances took over its supervision. 
 




                    

 
 
 
 
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