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Mission and the fire of 1838

Until 1798, a system of farming communities existed in Anniviers, some of who were linked through politics. The valley was divided into four neighbourhoods “ quartiers “, including that of Ayer, made up of Ayer and Mission. In 1798, during the French Revolution, the neighbourhoods were replaced by the Tiers and the district of Ayer incorporated La Combaz.

 Map of Mission

Until 1798, a system of farming communities existed in Anniviers, some of who were linked through politics. The valley was divided into four neighbourhoods “ quartiers “, including that of Ayer, made up of Ayer and Mission. In 1798, during the French Revolution, the neighbourhoods were replaced by the Tiers and the district of Ayer incorporated La Combaz.

One event particularly marked memories and constitutes even today the major event in the history of Mission. The memory of this disaster has passed from generation to generation. On July 23, 1838, a house caught on fire and the fire, helped by the summer drought, propagated very quickly. Even the pump of Saint-Luc, the only one in the valley, was not of much assistance. In two hours the entire village, except one house, went up in flames. Two people lost their lives. The total loss caused by the fire was estimated at Fr. 510 000. Luckily, most of the cattle were at pasture at the time of the incident.

The story of the fire described in the book of Erasme Zufferey* was selected as the most reliableaccount of the disaster. In the register of baptisms, Jean-Baptiste Rouaz, pastor of Vissoie, also recounted this dramatic episode ( extract of the story attached ).

At the moment of the fire, the village had a hundred inhabitants. In the 1840s, after rebuilding the houses, residents of the village repaired the chapel, the House of the Bourgeoisie, the bread oven and the house of the village.