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From Vallée de l’Artillerie to Faubourg Blanchot
Maison Célières : From Vallée de l’Artillerie to Faubourg Blanchot
Not long after Port-de-France (later renamed Noumea) was founded in 1854, the area currently known as Faubourg Blanchot was given the name “Vallée de l’Artillerie” because it was used for firing practice by the military.
Although the Vallée was located outside the city boundaries and linked by a single pathway to the centre, a dozen families settled there in 1856. In 1862, Governor Guillain encouraged the newly arrived settlers to move further away, towards Port Despointes.
In 1864, Barthélémy Blanchot purchased a number of plots. Governor Guillain turned his attention to the new neighbourhood and, in 1868, decided to excavate a road linking the town to Port Despointes. Work on the road was completed in 1871. With the road providing easy access, the price of land in the Vallée shot up.
Following construction of the road, Barthélémy Blanchot, who had continued to buy up land, sold a portion of his holdings. For the purposes of his advertising campaign, he renamed them “Faubourg Blanchot Estates”. The term was retained as the name of the neighbourhood, replacing “Vallée de l’Artillerie”.
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Texts and illustrations: Association Témoignage d’un Passé © 2016