Maison Le Cler
To begin our story we must emphasize how interested I am in my family's past and how my mother, Osella Maria Grazia, has always been even more so. Thanks to her teachings, which she in turn received from her father, Osella Luigi, I have been able to collect today some very important testimonies of the past, not only of my family but of the life of the people of Valle d'Aosta in the past. The enthusiasm with which my grandfather Luigi and his brother Gépin handed down the history and stories of their ancestors to my mother was so intense that they became clear and alive in her memory, as if she had lived them first.
This allowed my mother to talk to me continuously about these characters, their lives and their stories and gave me a great interest in my origins making me feel particularly close to them and to my Aosta Valley.
I thought it would be a good and right thing to leave a trace of these stories and of this family so representative of the Valley, so that those who, like me, do not want to lose their origins and love the history of yesteryear, can get some useful information.
The work of collection that my mother carried out was helped by the fact that many members of the family belonged to the clergy and as men of great culture they jealously preserved every writing that testified to their history.
Ciprien Gorret, archpriest and parish priest of La Thuile for over 50 years, and Luis Gorret, canon director of the seminary of Aosta, because of their distance from their family living in Valtournenche, periodically wrote to their sisters and aunts far away, recommending them to be good Christians and asking for news of their daily lives. Obviously all the texts were written in French and have been found, with their answers, perfectly preserved.
From these readings, my mother and I were able to learn a lot about their habits and outlook on life, entering a past world full of interesting anecdotes and precious suggestions about natural medicinal remedies, cultivation of the fields, and old recipes.
During the renovation of this house, many mementos of each of its inhabitants were found, from the very old books, to the handmade larch furniture, from the pipe collection of two smoking sisters, to the products used by the taxidermist and great hunter, to embalm hunting trophies.
This is one of the few houses in Valle d'Aosta to have been built around a wooden rascard, which remained locked inside the walls. You can see it on the top floor of the house, together with the family tree.
The recovery was not easy because of the desire to create a sustainable home, but the result has allowed the cohesion of the two elements. Where before there was exposed stone on the outside was chosen to thermally insulate with wood fiber coat on the inside, and vice versa where the stone was inside we have isolated with polystyrene thermal coat on the outside, recreating, however, above it, an old plaster as close as possible to the original.