What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical path in Mottec > Mottec- Post 3. Old road and Basin

Mottec- Post 3. Old road and Basin

This road was once the main road leading from Ayer to Zinal. It went to the right, below the bridge, and passed through the meadows where the electrical plant is located today.

Map of Mottec

Until 1957, the year of the construction of the current road, travellers could walk up from Ayer like most of Anniviards, or in carts pulled by mules. Then the carts were replaced by jeeps with seven seats.

With the opening of the construction site for the power plant in 1954, several chalets that were at the location of the storage basin, were moved along the new road, opposite the Edelweiss café.

Before the road construction, in Rotsec there was a sheep fold. The Monnet family owned all the meadows at Rotsec and up to the Pont du Bois, before the land was expropriated for an average sum of CHF 2.50.- per square meter.

In summer, at Mottec, there was a lot of movement. The cows were brought there in late spring to “eat grass” and in summer, hay was cut. At the time of the Sorebois Désalpe, cheese produced during the summer was placed in front of the basin before being distributed to the owners of the cows.

The basin was once made of wood carved out of a hollowed larch trunk. In every village, there were wooden basins that were replaced later by stone fountains.

People washed in the basin, but the water was so cold that nobody cared to wash too often.

Women washed clothes there, until the 1950s. The arrival of washing machines in homes dates from the period 1950-1960.

Formerly, for the bigger items to be washed (sheets and towels) a caster was used, placed in the garden to boil the cloth with soap or ash. The linen was spun in a large tub then rubbed and rinsed in the village basin on a wooden board.

The clothes were dried outside or over the soapstone stove in winter.

Women used an iron, which was filled with embers that had to be stirred occasionally. A smaller iron, which was heated directly on the stove or in the kitchen garden, was used for small sized clothes, towels or other items.

Marie-Hélène Monnet Rouffaer remembers the women of the valley with great admiration : “We saw women working incessantly. They walked with their young children while praying. The men had moments of respite in the bistro and cellars, while the women never stopped. “


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The first house, right after the chapel housed the Edelweiss Café.