In the revolutionary era, François Henri Vernou de Bonneuil already owned land in the neighborhood. Around 1770, no dwelling nor accustomed is represented on the map of the time. The census of 1796 indicates a grouping of properties sequestered by the Republic: the various owners are Destainville, Dupré, Baillard, Ricord and Bonneuil, occupying, in all, 76 farmers. These inaccurate data nevertheless indicate that Mr. Vernou de Bonneuil was then owner, but the clearing was just beginning. There was standing timber and probably some coffee and food. Thereafter, one of the children: Jean-Marie Maximilien Vernou de Bonneuil succeeded him. He married, in 1805, Anne-Marie Victoire Sarragot-Pontuel then in 1813: Félicie Bébian.
It is likely that he highlighted a part of the land, limited, in a fuzzy way, by the river Lézarde to the south, the great river Guoyave in the north, the mountains to the west and perhaps the Coffee Boynest (Cocoyer) in the East. Ver 1820, he creates a candy, called Esperance, on this property whose exact location is not known. In 1848, the candy factory still exists but in the meantime Mr de Bonneuil bought, in 1836, the St Jean sugar refinery in Petit-Bourg which is much more favorable. It is perhaps for this reason that, after his death, his heirs sell, in 1862, the dwelling Esperance, formerly established in candy, of a very extended capacity, is evoked. She is fallow and the buildings are ruined.
In 1862, the purchaser is Mr Alexis Lemoine-Maudet, notary. He will keep the property until 1875 but he does not put it in value. When he sells, in 1875, there is only one wooden box, covered with straw and some plantations.
The buyer is Jean-François Edouard Dubos. He will build a distillery at Esperance. The date is not known but it can be about 1893, date inscribed on a brick found on the spot. Mr Dubos died in 1913, leaving as heirs nephews. Among these are Jean-Marie Eugène Graëve. His name remains attached to the distillery. A tender in 1915 awarded the distillery to two sisters Adrienne Houllier, wife Marc Frossard and Marthe Houllier, wife Albert Harris.
On September 15, 1917, they sold Valmont Roussel Dupré and his wife Marie Eugénie Blanche Beauvarlet. In May 1918 is created the company Valmont Roussel Dupré et Cie. Work is being done at the distillery.
However, on March 11, 1920, the company sold the distillery to Louis Alexis Hemmel and Sanson Joseph Lafontaine. These gentlemen will keep the distillery until November 1922; Then sold to Jean-Marie Charles Eugène Graëve, nephew of Edouard Dubos: the acquisition concerns the entire house Vernou l'Esperance.
He participated actively in the political life of the island and became a member of Parliament in 1928 to 1936. The property suffered from the cyclone of 1928 and on September 22, 1929, by private deed, Eugène Graëve sold to Jean Defradas that he kept until in 1932 then sold it to Jean Charles Louis Grave, one of Eugene's children. He electrified the Lézarde height road around 1925, the current coming from the Pointe-à-Pitre generating station. Jean Charles Graëve sold the property by parcels around 1940 to Maître Melloir. In 1949 sold to Mr. and Mrs. Loïc Nesty. In 1950 the property is divided, there are built 8 houses to receive bonuses to the construction proposed by the government of General de Gaulle. In 1965 was created the cooler, it ceased its activity around 1970. Then a deposit sale of rum Fortyl was created around 1966 and ceased its activity in 1973.
And among this vast domain a plot was transformed into a small haven of peace which was created by your servant in 2008 which is named: "The lodgings of the Lézarde".
Les gîtes de la Lézarde
Location touristique en gîtes, cases et chambre
Chemin de la glacière - 19, l’Espérance Vernou - 97170 Petit Bourg Guadeloupe