The Observatory under the Forest Administration 1894 - 1943

The observation logs were kept by forester Blanc from 1st December 1894, who was the first resident at the observatory, coming from Mont Ventoux. From 1897, the French Alpine Club built a wooden refuge attached to the ground by four chains at the North end of the building. Tourists were starting to visit the Observatory ; there were 1250 in 1898, which was a very respectable number since they must have all come up on foot or by horse and trap. Later the Observatory was closed to tourists for lack of personnel.
With good roads and the mass of private cars, the number of tourists coming to admire the view never stopped growing. The following years saw various proposals for improvements or expansion, but few of them were realised. Winter storms repeatedly caused considerable damage, and for months on end the telegraph lines would be cut, and the buildings needed constant renovation. Tabusse, a local man, helped with the work and was responsible for the mountain refuge after 1916 ; he was immortalised is André Chamson's "Story of Tabusse" , and inspired the film "Tabusse" by Jean Gehret in 1948. A room in the Observatory is named after him.
Each year which went by necessitated repairs at the Observatory which offered only Spartan or uncertain comfort...

page 1 / 3 [ next ]