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A very lively square

This owes its interest, above all, to two main buildings: the Hôtel de la Truite (the Trout Hotel) and the Post Office

The Hotel

 

The Hotel de la Truite can be considered to be the oldest building in the Vallée. Although documents don’t mention it before 1662, we can suppose that it is a good hundred years older, going back to the beginning of the village itself at the start of the 16th century. This fact stems from the special situation of settlement along the shore of Lac de Joux, at the entrance of the Valley, if you proceed from Pétra-Félix (Mollendruz) or Vallorbe, or even if you come from Mouthe, on France.

 

Edgar Rochat from Le Pont (1945 – 1929), as a very proud carabinier. Illustrated on 31st August 1926
Edgar Rochat from Le Pont (1945 – 1929), as a very proud carabinier. Illustrated on 31st August 1926
The „Trois Grâces“ („three Highnesses“), girls or young ladies at the service of Edgar Rochat, owner of the “Hotel de la Truite” (Trout Hotel)
The „Trois Grâces“ („three Highnesses“), girls or young ladies at the service of Edgar Rochat, owner of the “Hotel de la Truite” (Trout Hotel)

 

This Hotel, to which was attached for a long time the general concession for the fishing on the Lac de Joux, was for several centuries under the ownership of a family Rochat of Le Pont. Later it passed into the hands of the village of the abbey. It is owned today, and has been for a hundred years century, by the family Lehmann, which manages it with great care. Its sign shows the heraldic arms of the village. It was struck by fire. It received leading guests.

 

Leaving a few deeply saddened young girls behind, the Belgium and French captives go back home in 1916
Leaving a few deeply saddened young girls behind, the Belgium and French captives go back home in 1916

 

It was witness to numerous major demonstrations in the square or nearby. To name a few: the inauguration of the railway at Le Pont - Vallorbe in 1886; that of the railway at Le Pont– Le Brassus in 1899; the reception of Belgian as well as French refugees in 1916.

 

One of his tenants deserves special attention: Edgar Rochat. Besides being the hotelkeeper, he initiated the exploitation of ice on Lake Brenet, was involved in passenger transportation, and traded in vacherin cheeses and combustible fuels, notably peat.

 

An Escher engraving, 1784. After a miraculous catch, a fisher and his wife are returning home. Baskets, rods or fishing rods, straps and oars are their equipment
An Escher engraving, 1784. After a miraculous catch, a fisher and his wife are returning home. Baskets, rods or fishing rods, straps and oars are their equipment

The Post Office

 

The house of the bottom of the square housed the village’s first post office, founded in 1830. It remained there until 1872, when it was transferred into the adjacent building, facing the restaurant, where it occupied both ends in turn.

 

Telegraph services at Le Pont in 1860; the telephone in 1896.

 

The Post Office, with the wire equipment for transmitting telegrams on the roof
The Post Office, with the wire equipment for transmitting telegrams on the roof

The Place de la Truite (Trout Square) is where the mail stagecoaches arrived from Cossonay. This continued until 1886, when, following the building of the railway, Le Brassus no longer had to be reached from both sides of the Lac de Joux. In 1899, the stagecoach abandoned the western shore, which was consequently served by the train. From that time on, the stagecoach only served the eastern shore. In 1920, the Société des Auto-transports de la Vallée de Joux AVJ was created, which still continues its activities to this day.

 

In the old post office building, owned by Edgar Rochat who also had his farm there, the owner created a newsstand for the use of his daughter, Rachel. Here could be found newspapers and magazines, tourist literature and equipment, as well as traditional souvenirs, objects which meet with the approval of the many visitors drawn more and more frequently to the place.

 

It is close to this Place de la Truite on the lake that ice-skating contests were organized. From here, too, sledging tours departed. Numerous photographs testify to the many activities.

 

The square’s fountain, “du Pavé” (of pavement), used to be situated midway between the Post office and the Trout Hotel. It was soon moved to under the big linden, which is estimated a little over a hundred and fifty years of age.

 

This fountain was always uncovered, as were all the others of the village. As far as we know, Edgar Rochat was the only one who worried about the fate of our washing-women and washers to recommend the usage of covers to improve their working conditions. His words fell on deaf ears.

 

Ice collection from the grottos in Le Pont, 1881 – 1882. Most of it is still done manually. The number of employees is impressive
Ice collection from the grottos in Le Pont, 1881 – 1882. Most of it is still done manually. The number of employees is impressive
A lithography from the beginning of the 20th century. What joy!
A lithography from the beginning of the 20th century. What joy!