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Jean-Michel Peers | all galleries >> GIVERNY, le village >> Giverny in days gone by > The Edge Of Giverny ("Le Bout de Giverny")
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The Edge Of Giverny (Le Bout de Giverny)

The Edge Of Giverny ("Le Bout de Giverny")

Text by André Buffet
Photography and Layout by Jean-Michel Peers
Postcards from the Terra Foundation for American Art

Starting from the Chemin du Roy, the Rue des Chandeliers (A) led to the Chemin du Rouet (B),
from which began, half-way up the hillside La Grande Roulière (C). The Chemin du Rouet continued
up a steep path and led to several planted plots on one part or another of the hillside.

The cadastral map established in 1836 reveals a lot of information.
Lower, at the intersection, the shoulder of the Rue “de Haut” (or ‘upper road’) leads to the
center of the village (D). Slightly shifted toward the bottom, on the left, the Sente de Vernon (E)
crossed fields and vineyards in the dierction of the hamlet of Manitaux.

And..the two parallel pencil marks (F) simulate the future street which will be called Rue Claude
Monet. It is only then that the Sente de Vernon will be called the Sente des Grosses Eaux (Path of
High Waters). In the past, this path was used when the Branch of the Seine and the Epte
flooded the lower valley and made circulation difficult along the Chemin du Roy.
The Eastern edge of the former Rue de Haut will be named Sente du Rouet (G),
before turning right towards the top of the hillside.

The blocks that form the village become grouped together when, in about 1870,
the Route d’en Haut is lengthened in a straight line across the fields,
from the Rue des Chandeliers in the direction of Vernon.

In the same way when a path crossed the Clos Morin joining
the Colombier with the Pressoir.

Monsieur Edmond Picard collected milk in Giverny daily, but also in
Sainte-Geneviève-les-Gasny, with the help of a horse-drawn carriage
whose raised shafts and hood could be seen from behind stone walls.

Break-time: Monsieur Picard and his wife Berthe pose in
their gateway, their son Albert returns from fishing.

That day he welcomed his friend, Monsieur Jardin, café owner
of “Au Rendez-vous des Touristes” seated on the wall
to the right of the gatepost.

To the right, the house of the railroad crossing gate-keeper was located near today’s gas station.
Monsieur Trichereau watched over the security of automobiles, horse-drawn carriages,
and pedestrians and maintained the smooth functioning of the trains.

Charles Picard, nephew of Edmond, mason in Giverny, built the house in 1906. Each builder had his
own supply of material. In this case, he removed sand from a quarry located 30 meters lower
and downstream, from the sente de Vernon to the Route d’en Bas.


NB: I want to make a note here that my wife, our daughters and myself, lived in this house for
fourteen years. We enjoyed it very much. Barely settled, an antique salesman friend offered the
postcard “Entrée de Giverny” above. What do you think happened? Many long and enjoyable years of
research in salons and exhibitions of postcards, with the hope of finding THE missing card.
It was a passion that the four of us shared, travelling thousands of kilometers, waking up at
impossible times, convinced that we would discover the exceptional card. Sometimes rewarded,
other times disappointed, but it did not matter! We were always more confident the following
weekend. We had a rallying cry when we found something; we would yell across the salon to
warn each other “I got a fox!” in reference to our favorite cartoon by Tex Avery. I would
not like to bore my reader with my personal story or my states of mind, but I would like
to tell you what happened to us when we arrived on the outskirts of Rouen, when getting
out of our car, we saw numerous edible mushrooms strewn across the grass in front of
the exhibition hall. How to choose between two passions? Normans always say it is
better to stay than to run. You guessed it: we gathered mushrooms. The story does
not say whether our search for postcards was exceptional that day!


In the “Bout de Giverny” as it looked in 1910, the year of the floods, there were about ten or so buildings…

…that we can recognize in this recent panorama, for the most part, they have been enlarged. Notice,
in particular, the house of the dairyman with two wings financed by “war damages,” and the house
of Allouis-Singeot, enlarged in the 1930s by Achille Delaplace, village school teacher.

other sizes: small original
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