Blackminster, gray skies.

The walls of this house are made entirely from clay taken from the marsh and worked with the reeds into "torchis" -- the earthen walls of the home.  In the prime of Armandine's life, nine people lived in the two rooms of the bourrine.  Her parents and their seven children all lived here, and they lived almost entirely from the produce of their own hands.

In the center here you see Armandine's "armoire".  It was her most prized possession, and one of the few she ever bought with money.  Around 1900, when she was soon to be married, she paid 80 francs for this treasure.  With the eggs from her chickens and her other handiwork, she earned about 100 francs that year.  The ability to save on such earnings was proof that she would be an sound and frugal wife for her family.  In these marshes, such were the most important qualities of a woman about to start a family.

FirstPrevious NextLast
Gallery  Links    Title page

Please send e-mail to Michael Lastinger to provide feedback about this page. 

This page last updated on 6/14/2001 7:46:03 PM.