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Post 3. Chalet Madeleine

This house, which dates from 1579, was acquired by the « Société de développement d’Ayer » in 1985. A visit gives an idea of what the interiors of old houses in this area looked like.

The furniture, utensils and objects are, for the most part of origin. On a beam, the date 1651 is inscribed. The soapstone stove dates from 1794.

Madeleine Viaccoz, born in 1885, lived in this house until her death at the age of 84, in 1969. Despite the arrival of drinking water and stoves in homes, she continued to take water from the village basin and to cook on a wood fire in the fireplace.

The inhabited part of the house, located on the third level, is composed of a bedroom and a kitchen. The kitchen is basic, with a clay floor and simple dishes. A rack is located in the foyer. The walls are in stone, to avoid any risk of fire.

A large soapstone stove heated the house. This type of stove made out of refractory stone that keeps the heat, was present in all the houses in the Alps.

In the bedroom, bunk beds, called à charette ( i.e. like a cart ) allowed the whole family to sleep in a small space ; the parents above, and below, the children. The room had also functioned as the main family space. One area was always reserved for images of the saints and the dead. This is where evenings were spent : women knitted or spun, while men repaired tools or dedicated themselves to other small jobs.

In the room on the second level, where tools were once stored, objects and tools loaned by inhabitants are currently on exhibition.

In the cellar, located on the ground floor, wine was kept in barrels, but so were potatoes and provisions.

For guided tours of the Chalet Madeleine :

The house located in front of the Chalet Madeleine has a number of interesting elements : an original wall with mortar joints and a cellar door, restored on the basis of the old decoration, dated 1768. The fresco on the wall of the basin is the work of a German artist. The wooden sculptures were created by Bernhard Hubert.

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Continue along the Petit Chêne, until you reach the house of the Bourgeoisie.

Useful documents


Post 3. Chalet Madeleine
3961 Ayer


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