Local History up to 1914 : (from M. François SIMIAN, former teacher of the village)


In the beginning of the 12th century, Les Salles sur Verdon was in the possession of a family from Moustiers. This family still exists in the midst 13th century. In 1371, the village falls within the jurisdiction of the bishop of Riez. In 1380, a priory with two monks exists and depends from St Victor of Marseille. This abbey still exists during the Revolution.

At the beginning of the 16th century, there where 200 inhabitants.In 1765, there where 300 and in 1851 400 inhabitants.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a mill and an olive mill exist in the village. Farmers cultivate wheat in large quantities, but also potatoes, almonds, fruit and vegetables and the famous truffles. There where also plenty of willows and some inhabitants created a basketry producing ploughing implements  and fishing articles.

From 1914 to the construction of the dam :


Lots of young people died in the battlefields and this had consequences on the life of the village: the mills and small industries disappeared. There is always plenty of willow but only few people work on it, called "romanichels". Old people speak of a so-called Sicetti, the owner of the pub bar de la place, basket maker and musician who lived things up during dancing by playing fiddle. On its tombstone, he let inscribe "Here lies Sicetti, called  the lucky dog, who died neither too young nor too old, people who read this, you will also die one day!"


There are fewer and fewer inhabitants in the village. Until October 1924, there where two separated classes for boys and girls in school. From that time on, only one mixed class exists. The director is Madame Escoffier until 1940.


The village lies on good land due to alluvial deposits coming from the boarder of the Verdon, at the beginning of the Grand Canyon, but the farmers are poor...

... After the first World War, there where three bakers in the

village. But soon, the local oven is abandoned and only one baker is left...


... At the beginning of the century some families do silkworm breeding...


... As there are plenty of oak trees, the crop of truffles is

excellent. On the eve of the dam, four tons of truffles were brought to the market in Riez, Wednesday and Saturday...


... Another source of enrichment for the village is lavender. The village counts seven distilleries on its territory.

Life in the village :

The village is very vivid and lively. Life follows the rhythm of the seasons : the horses are taken everyday to the fountain where they drink under the old elms. At the moment of haymaking, the rounds of the carts filled with hay, taking the hay into the barns, and the odour of hay dominate and envelop the landscape with dusty smell of

hay...

...five to six times per year the "big washing" took place in the village. Life in the houses was turned upside down: women and children were very busy. Early in the morning all the sheets (sometimes 50) were piled up in big basins. A big cotton cloth covered the sheets and ashes were put on it. Fire was burning under the basin. Then hot water was poured on the ashes over and over again. This water was rescued in other basins, called "lessif". With the help of saucepans, the children poured the water over the ashes, almost the whole day long...

To read more please visite the website of : "Mémoire des Salles sur Verdon".