Ojai winter home of early industrialist fire starter seeks a match

An Ojai compound that once served as a winter residence of early industrialist William Armstrong Fairburn is on the market for $11.5 million.

Fairburn, who went to work for Diamond Match Co. in 1909, is credited with inventing the first non-poisonous wooden match. By 1915, he was president and owner of the company.

The property has had only three owners in the 90 years since he built the estate in 1927.

Set behind gates on 50 acres, the renovated Adirondack-style main house includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms and 4,986 square feet of living space. The interior is clad in knotty pine paneling that came from the Diamond Match forest near Chico, Calif. Original features include stained-glass windows in the living room.


An additional New England-inspired guest house has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The two homes and several outbuildings are within walking distance of downtown Ojai.

Nancy Kogevinas of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is the listing agent.

Twitter: @laurenebeale

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