l'Histoire du Village (October 2011)
in this issue
l'Histoire du Village
Oregon Sandcastles
French Property Shares goes Italian
September 2011 
l'Histoire du Village


Lisa and her father are part owners of  le Muguet, our medieval fractional ownership property near Uzes. I was delighted to hear of their interest in the history of "our castle"- What's more, this interest has blossomed into a new friendship with Pierre, a native of Vers Pont du Gard.


 "Dad tells me, when he's sitting in the salon of Le Muguet looking at the arched ceiling, he feels like we're in our own little castle." We all know there's something special about this place - it shows up on the village plan, handouts, and postcards - so we set out to discover whatever we could about its history. 

The mayor's "Le Village" brochure points out this house, along with our neighbor's across the Calade, was on either side of one gate that led into the village. (The other gate was beneath the clock tower.) Our own wall shows an indentation where the spine of the gates used to be!

Dad created a floor plan of our castle and discovered the walls facing Place de la Fontaine are ~2 feet thick: significantly wider than the Calade side. We surmise this may have been for fortification, as the Fontaine side of our castle would have formed part of the exterior village walls!


I recently met with a villager, Pierre, who loves studying the history of Vers. He lives near us on rue de Bourrian ("Bourg Riant"). Although he was born/raised in Aix-en-Provence, studied/lived in Paris, then returned to Vers relatively recently, his family has been in this village since the Middle Ages! Part of his background is in architecture and he was thrilled to see the interior of Le Muguet. He was very impressed by its construction - and renovation.


Unfortunately, he couldn't confirm some "facts" about our castle. Does it date from the 17th century?  "Probably earlier." Was it part of the old monastery? "More likely belonged to a wealthy man." Pierre's now retired but remembered, as a child, a couple lived here who made chairs and other furniture. While in the salon, he noted the indented bookcase and the fireplace were probably "added later" - only a couple hundred years old?! We also studied the ceiling near the front door and wondered if it had been separated by a wall from the rest. No doubt, over the past 400 to 500 years, our castle has seen many changes.

Also of note: the spring water running under the building is labeled "non-potable" for legal reasons. It's as clean as it gets!

Turns out, Pierre wrote "Le Village" brochure! He also mentioned a book on Vers history that may be sold in the Tabac: if not, available in the library. More research!"


Lisa Chardonnet
(Locals have trouble with my last name, beginning with an "E,"so I'm adopting the name of some French friends while in the country.) 


September 2011





Oregon Sandcastles 

Cannon Beach
Not far from our former home near Portland,Oregon

Listed as one of the top ten beaches in the U.S., Cannon Beach, Oregon is a quaint town just 210 miles from Seattle, Wa., just 80 miles from Portland, Oregon and is located right on miles of beautiful Pacific Ocean beach.  Set for June 18, 2011, Sandcastle Day is a family orientated event that is open to everyone from "Sand Fleas" age 6 and under to "Sand Masters", some of which compete in numerous judged events around the country. See photos

Castles of Oregon sand
FPS goes Italian 


I've been walking around my house thinking "Who needs House Hunters International and Under the Tuscan Sun, anyway?" How about "Ginny goes Italian" or "FPS does Tuscany"??  I admit, it doesn't sound quite as glamorous. Yet, I do get more than a few "ooh la la's" when I mention to  friends that we have started looking at properties in Tuscany. "Hold on, hold on..." I need to remind them. We are still at step #4.


Step 1: Deciding whether a FPS style fractional in Italy makes sense.
Step 3: Finding suitable properties to view



Step 2: Where and what would it look like?

Step 3: Finding suitable properties.

 Step 4: Viewing properties (or having friends do so on your behalf)


I receive a number of emails and phone calls from international travelers mentioning that they are seeking a home abroad.  Often I think back to our first home share in 1998, La Bruyere, and recall the MULTITUDE of details we waded through to reach completion. Not impossible, but daunting. One of my frequent suggestions is to settle into a 4-6 week ownership share (home base from which one can comfortable explore other options) and then to resell your share later on.





More on Karen and Marian's research in Tuscany in the next issue...    





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Ginny Blackwell   phone: (001) 585 905-0849 email: fpshares@gmail.com