FUMAY CITY OF HISTORY

 LA PLACE ARISTIDE BRIAND

With the urban extension in the 19th century, the old entrance to the city became a central crossroads called “La Place d’Armes”. It is after the proposal of the HELIN brothers, fumacian marble workers; to erect the monument to the dead, which they were in charge of building on this site, that the Municipal Council voted for its complete repair. The plans will be made by the cantonal voyer agent, Mr. MUNIER. Inaugurated as the monument on July 30, 1922, the square will be renamed "Place Aristide Briand" by decision of the Municipal Council voted on May 31, 1932. The original layout has undergone various adaptations. It is a trapezoidal square whose base is located at the height of the national road (orientation NNE - 550), at the top facing the old center. Various grassed beds delimit a central path leading to the war memorial as well as an esplanade. The perimeter, meanwhile, is lined with plane trees. With regard to the topography, the site of the place Briand presents itself as a rather rough platform located near steep terrain that are the northern part of the place (section bordering the park of the castle), the Terne de la Haye, the faubourg du Pied-Selle (rue des Déportés). Philippe Le Bon exploited this feature in the middle of the 15th century to build fortifications. The square has no particular function and was used to deposit the waste produced by the neighboring slate quarries. Around 1738, a monk from the Jéronimites convent planted an alley of lime trees in the western part of the site, which led to the convent located near the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Diversmonts. During the revolution, a resident wrote: “the entrance to Fumay is obscured by emptying and slate cuts from old pits”. The first removals of waste were carried out during the occupation of the city by the Russian army, from 1815 to 1818. They were removed in their entirety in 1848 by the workers of the slate quarry Saint-Gilbert then unemployed and employed by the city ​​following the temporary closure of operations. It is also between these two chronological landmarks that most of the houses that line the western part of the square were built. 15 years later, with the construction of the railway station, the layout of the current rue Jean-Baptiste Clément was reviewed as a whole with, in particular, its opening on the square. The only existing access from the banks of the Meuse was that of the current rue des Déportés. In 1900, the site, ??? of communication between the different districts, hosts festivals and markets. After the First World War, it was on this site that the elected officials decided to erect the War Memorial dedicated to the children of Fumay and voted for the development of the site, entrusted to Mr. MUNIER, cantonal voyer agent. Place and monument were inaugurated on July 30, 1922. It took the name of Place Aristide Briand in 1932. Michel

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 L' EGLISE SAINT GEORGES DE FUMAY

Faced with the regular growth of the population, the church council asked, in a letter addressed to the prefect at the end of 1861, "to establish a report and a program to deal with the insufficiency of the church". The latter appointed the architect M. Rimbeau (decree of January 20, 1862) to study the project; the municipal council appointed an assistant, Mr. Marchal, to accompany him in his efforts. The architect's report, presented to the municipal council on November 15, 1862, assessed the work in two stages comprising the enlargement of the church, with a fixed price range of between 45 and 50,000 francs, and the rebuilding of the portal, estimated between 25 and 30,000 francs. The elected officials, recognizing the smallness of the building, asked for the drafting of plans and specifications. A first estimate, presented in August 1863, increased the area of ​​the church from 465 to 875 m² at a cost of 115,000 francs. Several councillors, deeming this work insufficient, argued for the doubling of the sum in order to rebuild a church "that could serve the future generation". The council adopted this new orientation and voted to study land likely to accommodate the new building. Faced with the lack of available resources, due to the importance of the road works in progress and the construction of an asylum room, the municipal council reversed this decision, favoring the expansion before revoking a total reconstruction. the cost of which, according to some members, could not be higher than expansion work, because of the necessary modifications. The choice of a location for this building, the Place d'Armes (now Place Aristide Briand), was voted on during the same session. In February 1865, Mr. Davreux (1798-1870), owner of slate quarries proposed a donation of 20,000 francs for the construction project on the condition of seeing the new building "built on the site of the current church". In June 1867, Jean-Baptiste Couty, who succeeded Rimbeau, who died in September 1866, submitted a project estimated at 126,500 francs. The General Council for Buildings estimated "that it would be impossible with 130,000 francs to execute it without exposing itself to surprises which could involve the city in a much greater expense". Its members proposed the realization of a project of complete reconstruction, the parts of which could be implemented only successively and according to the needs. The total reconstruction of the building is then estimated between 300,000 and 330,000 francs. In April 1868, the architectural commission invited Couty to carry out several modifications to the project as well as soundings on the surrounding basement because of the neighboring slate quarries. These elements were accepted by the council on November 7, 1868, which requested the revision of the plans and specifications. In May 1869, the city applied for a grant from the Ministry of the Interior, bought land from neighboring owners. During the municipal council of October 26 of the same year, the councillors, after reading the satisfactory report of the engineers of the mines (Colle and Nivoit) concerning the stability of the surrounding basement, voted the new construction project, divided into four tranches for a budget of 360,000 francs, including 26,572.77 francs for contingencies. However, the architectural commission advised the relocation of the church on the street, or the reduction of its dimensions (council of November 28). The council voted to move, for "the security of the building". In December 1869, the sub-prefect asked the city to engage its moral responsibility towards the inhabitants to "cover its responsibility and allow it to deviate from the opinion of gentlemen engineers", boxed commitment, with the new modifications made to the plan on April 21, 1870. The war suspended the realization of the project. The first phase of work, initially scheduled for the second half of 1870, was put out to tender in November 1871. Work began in July 1872 and, on September 1, 1872, faced with the lack of good quality quartzite rubble for the facing , Couty advised the use of Dom limestone. An additional loan of 170,000 francs was voted in December 1872 for the continuation of the work. A deficit of 56,000 francs on July 1, 1873 forced the city to postpone the execution of the 4th section of the spire works. The second phase of work began in the second half of 1873. In December 1874, the work carried out (up to the level of the belfry) amounted to 376,835.38 francs. In 1875, the council voted a loan of 18,000 francs for the construction of the spire. The works were accepted on November 12, 1876, the construction estimated at 407,275.91 francs. The credit will be definitively paid in 1910, which allows

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 LA DEMEURE DES COMTES DE BRYAS

Having become avowed lord of the lands of REVIN in 1689, the De Bryas family built this castle, in the middle of an old park, between the end of the 17th century and the first quarter of the 18th century on the ruins of a castle destroyed in 1633 , called "the big tower". In 1827, the site became the property of Charles and Louis Borgnet who founded a whitewash and chicory factory. Having gone bankrupt following a fire, in 1837 the castle became the property of the Moulin Sainte-Anne slate company, which set up its offices there until 1846, when the company's assets were liquidated. The owner Grouard de Tocqueville sold it to the town of Fumay in 1951. The castle, which houses multiple administrative services, has been listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments since 1972;

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LE COUVENT DES CARMÉLITES

The Carmelite convent was founded in July 1630 by Magdeleine d'Egmont, Princess of Chimay, Lady of the place. The community consisted of 12 to 16 sisters, according to the extreme figures provided by the bibliography. Dissolved during the French Revolution, the various buildings making up the convent were sold on 21 Floréal of Year II to Louis Joseph Maquenne for the sum of 32,000 pounds, before the various plots forming the convent were dispersed among several owners. At the time of this sale, the property consisted of: a church adjoining rue Martin-Coupaye, three houses adjoining the church, an intermediate building connecting the aforementioned houses and a convent building (current building) , and finally, attached to the intermediate building and the new building, a former refectory and kitchen. The church was destroyed between this takeover and the beginning of the 19th century. Two of the three houses and intermediate buildings were demolished in 1972 In 1824, the city, working on the opening of two schools, bought the current building and the surrounding land to establish the girls' school there, together which it acquired on August 31, 1825 for the sum of 4900 francs. The building then had four places on the ground floor, two floors, an attic over the entire length of the said building and a cellar below, plus a courtyard on the side and a garden of the capacity of about 50 yards (measure of the period), representing eleven ares fifty centiares, in front of the said building towards the south, and having an entrance on the rue de Prousse (current rue des fusillés). Various works were subsequently undertaken to fit out accommodation and classrooms. The courses were provided by the sisters of the institution of Sainte Marie until 1896 when the city voted to secularize the establishment (deliberation of August 4, 1896), a decision which was, moreover, at the origin of the construction of a private school near the Place du Baty in 1897 (School of the Child Jesus then Notre Dame School) which is now closed. In 1899, the communal school for girls merged with the asylum room located rue des fusillés The establishment closed during the 1950s, after the construction of more appropriate buildings. The former convent was used as accommodation, then as a youth center in the late 1960s before hosting the slate museum and then the tourist office in 1996.

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FUMAY, UNE VILLE AU PASSÉ HISTORIQUE ET POLITIQUE

FUMAY, A CITY WITH A HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL PAST ​ It is said that Saint Materne, an evangelizing monk established in the sixth century, on the site of a Roman site located near the Alyse, a chapel which he dedicated to the Virgin, locally called under the name of Notre-Dame of Divers-Monts. It is also said that he would have erected it after having killed, it is said, "the famous snake which terrorized the woods of Fumay". The first inhabitants would then have settled around this building, served by the monks of the collegiate church of Molhain. In 762 Pepin the Short ceded the lands which today correspond to the municipalities of Revin, Fumay and Fépin to the abbey of Prüm (city of the current German state of Rhineland-Palatinate), which then acquired the special status of land frank. The lord abbot, to represent him on his lands, but also to protect them, appoints an attorney whose role is gaining in importance to the detriment of the abbey. In 1222, the signing of a text, known as the “Charter of Fumay”, specifies the rights and obligations of each party. But, in 1288, the abbey lost all prerogative over the appointment of its lawyer, when the latter sold his office of lawyer to Jean II d'Avesnes, Prince of Hainaut. In 1433 Jacqueline of Bavaria, the last direct heiress of Jean II d'Avesnes, was forced to cede her lands, including the charge of avowal of Revin, Fumay and Fépin to her first cousin, Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy . He sold the latter in 1453 to Antoine de Croÿ, Count of Porcien and Lord of Renty. On his death, the avorie is passed on to his son Philippe then Philippe II, Prince of Chimay whom Charles V raises, for services rendered, to the title of Duke of Arschott. In 1610, the office was sold to the Arembergs, princes of Chimay, then, in 1689, to Jacques Théodore, count of Bryas, archbishop of Cambrai. Although Fumay was a free land, its administration placed it within the zone of influence of the Netherlands. Its geographical location, at the "Limits" of the Kingdom of France and on the course of the Meuse, makes the town acquire a strategic importance, both militarily and economically. Also, the Kingdom of France and the Netherlands disputed its ownership, calling into question this status granted by Pepin the Short, for nearly two centuries. This tense situation would not end until 1769 with the signing of the Treaty of Limits linking, in particular, Fumay to the Kingdom of France.

FUMAY, UN ÉCRIN NATUREL ET ARDOISIER AU COEUR DE LA VALLÉE DE LA MEUS

Municipality of the Ardennes bordering Belgium, Fumay is located 30 km north of Charleville-Mézières in the tip of Givet (which geographers also refer to as the "finger of Givet"). Border town of Belgium, the Alyse stream which flows into the Meuse downstream of the town is one of the landmarks that separate the two countries. The municipal territory, with an area of ​​3756 hectares, consists mainly of wooded areas. If the forest dominates in the landscape, it is mainly a resource of its subsoil which made the fame of the city: the slate shale. Of exceptional quality, it was operated until the early 1970s. The oldest part of the city developed in an extremely narrow meander of the Meuse, drawing a real peninsula, the most recent districts developing on its edges. Fumay seems overseen by its church. It is claimed that the exploitation of the slate gradually caused the whole of the commune to sag, but that no one ever dared to dig under the church, which means that it dominates today. This collection of the Meuse in the Ardennes massif reinforces the impression of confinement and isolation, characterizing the valley. You can stroll there along the Meuse, starting from the river port, continuing along the traditional towpath, and going up towards the Place du Baty where you can rest in the shade of the lime trees. Along this promenade you will notice the huge mounds of slate waste, the fouégés that the scailleteux left there during the exploitation of the slate quarries.

 
 

FUMAY, CITÉ DE L'ARDOISE

The oldest written records showing that slate is extracted at Fumay date from the 12th century. They come from religious communities asking the abbot of Prüm for permission to extract slate shale to cover their buildings. Throughout the Middle Ages, the rise of religious communities favored the dissemination of material and structured the first economic networks that were organized towards the Netherlands. Their influence diminished in favor of traders in the 15th century, traders from towns like Dinant, Namur, Liège. This boom in activity and numbers led the slate makers to found a corporation in 1466 to defend their rights and, in particular, to restrict access to foreign workers. It is the corporation of Miners Escailleurs that they place under the protection of Notre-Dame de Divers Monts. The activity experienced a decline in the middle of the 18th century, which was accompanied by the disappearance of several farms, the most modest. Three remain active: Sainte-Anne, Saint-Joseph, the Trépassés. The last two closed around 1790, Sainte-Anne remaining the only exploitation in quasi-regular activity until around 1835 when the economic context allowed the development of new companies. Former slate quarry of Saint-Joseph. The end of the 19th century was marked by the slowdown in demand on the French market, which resulted in a drop in production and a reduction in the workforce. All activity stopped during the Great War. After the conflict, the reconstruction, which required arms and materials, masked the recurring problem of the drop in demand for slate, which resurfaced in 1924. The opening of a market towards England allows the flow of part of the production, but not in sufficient quantities. Also, the closure of this market in September 1931 caused the cessation of all activity in the slate basin of Fumay and Haybes. In 1937, 200 people, compared to 860 ten years earlier, still worked in the only two active slate quarries: Saint-Joseph and La Renaissance. Despite a jump after 1945, production decreased after 1955, despite an effort to diversify. The Société des ardoisières de Rimogne, in a desire for concentration, acquired the fumacian sites in 1965, a merger which postponed the inevitable by a few years: extraction ceased in 1971. Let us mention, pell-mell, the slates found in the Fumay basin: Bacara, Belle Montagne, Bourache Malcotte, Chenay, Curé, Fontaines, Floris, Frechy, Gaye, Grand Tranchy, Gros Chène, Jaffe, Jeannette, Pierre le Maule, Malcontaine , Meuse, Mondé, Moulin Sainte-Anne, Montauban, Monteil, Munoye, Padoue, Petit-Tranchy, Grand Tranchy, Provost, Raguet, Renaissance, Rochettes, Thérèse Gillet, French, Fearful, Departed, Ste Désirée, St-Georges, St -Gilbert, St-Jean, St-Joseph, St-Pierre des Lions, St-Roch, Ste-Marie, Ste-Sésirée.

FUMAY, ANCIENNE CITÉ MÉTALLURGIQUE

In 1777, Jacques François Ancienne, forge master, acquired the Pied Selle estate, which owes its name to the existence of a ford, and developed his activity there, succeeded by Eugène Mathys in 1815. He transformed the economic activity of the site by founding, in 1826, a window glass factory, operational in 1831. Its manager, Louis-Antoine Péchenard, who became the owner in 1838, founded a workshop of kitchen utensils in tinned iron in 1841 and abandoned the glassworks in 1848. The site experienced a new impetus after 1855 with the creation of a new company and the association of new partners, including Eugène Boucher. The workforce of the company is multiplied by nine between 1848 and 1885, increasing from 70 to 650 people. In 1893, the factory became a limited company under the name of “Etablissements du Pied Selle”. It then specialized in the manufacture of stoves and heating appliances. In 1923, the company was bought by the Thomson group. The Fumay factory employed up to 1,500 people in the 1950s when major modernization and expansion work was carried out. However, the household appliance crisis in the 1960s led the board of directors, after diversifying production, to decide on the total conversion of the site. Relying on certain know-how in enamelling and foundry, the transfer of an outdoor unit, the Fumay factory became, in 1971, a cable factory. This transformation is accompanied by the disappearance of 500 jobs. The factory, which belongs to the Nexans group, has its number of employees which increases in mid-February 2010, from 257 to 2052. ​ In Potay, Jacques Lenoir and his wife Clara Patez founded a forge workshop in 1846. This quickly became the “Lenoir et Patez” foundry. In 1893, Joseph Bidez and Chrétien Haller acquired the company. The company took the name of Bidez Haller & Chatillon establishments with the acquisition, in 1937, of a new unit in Châtillon sur Seine (Côte d'Or). The factory, in the early 1980s, was hit hard by the crisis in the steel industry. At the start of 1983, the first layoffs took place after a year of partial unemployment. The company closed its doors for good in 1994 and a large part of the buildings were destroyed. Fumay counted other metallurgical establishments such as the François Foundry, established on the road to Rocroi, the Ardennes foundry, Tonkin. In the 1960s, Victor Godart founded a repair workshop that his son transformed into a general mechanics workshop. The latter, after a contract with Renault, becomes a subcontractor for the automotive industry specializing in the manufacture of components allowing the circulation of fluids.