Lignières: Then and Now

Lignières: Then and Now

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Now we embark upon our second walking tour, starting at the northeast corner of the village and proceeding toward the centre (where our first tour began), then westward along the north side.

This post card, with a postmark dating it to 1917, identifies this as the Fromagerie—cheese factory. The building, located at present-day address Rue du Franc-Alleu 17, is not included in the RACN. In the intervening years, the building has been substantially remodelled; in addition to the new enclosed porch at the left, note how the entire structure has been extended to the right, including a new entrance.

The stream which runs along the northeast side of the village, which served to power sawmills from the end of the 14th century into the twentieth, flows beneath part of this building, which proved convenient for disposing of the used brine and other effluvia of cheese-making in an age before such natural resources were elevated to objects of worship not to be defiled by human industry, however organic and artisanal. In the “then” picture, what is presumably the family who ran the enterprise stands proudly in front. Note that the man second from the right, near the corner of the building, is holding what appears to be a giant wheel of cheese—probably Gruyère. To his left, Toby the cheese dog is keeping a vigilant eye on the mega cheese-treat, doubtless hoping for a slice when the time comes for taste testing.

Behind the location from which the “now” picture was taken, just on the other side of the Rue du Franc-Alleu, is the present-day Fromagerie de Lignières, one of the officially authorised producers of Gruyère AOC cheese (numéro de fromagerie 4060) along with other local cheeses, cream, butter, milk, and yoghurt. The distinctive flavour of Gruyère is steeped in a tradition which dates to the 17th century, but its present-day production in Lignières is distinctly high-tech, as the following clip from the film Lignières 2006 illustrates.

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(This original film produced by Jérôme Jeusset et Nicolas Meyer of COMAVIS Productions CH-Biel/Bienne is © copyright 2006 by the Fondation de l'Hôtel de Commune de Lignières and included in its entirety on the DVD/DVD-ROM published with the 2006 history of Lignières.)

Back of post card

Map of viewpoint

The historical photograph is courtesy of M. Werner Löffel of Lignières, who kindly contributed images of his post card collection to the archives of the Fondation de l'Hôtel de Commune de Lignières.