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A HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD ESTATE STEEPED IN HISTORY

BEGINNING OF THE XXth CENTURY
A PANORAMA, LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT


1904

Mary Wallace Schillito

In 1904, Mary Wallace Schillito was filled in admiration with the magnificent views she discovered while crossing the Domaine des Avenières, former property of the Chartreux de Pomier.

CONSTRUCTION WORK

Mary Wallace Schillito, a wealthy American lady, bought the estate in 1905 and began building the castle in 1907.

ASSAN DINA MAINSTAY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SALEVE AREA

MARY and ASSAN

Mary married Assan Farid Dina who laid out the gardens and built the chapel in 1917. Assan Dina was poised to become a mainstay of technological and tourist development in the Salève region.
As soon as the Great War came to an end, he financed an electrification programme in the district of Cruseilles and the supply of drinking water to some villages and hamlets.

In 1918, he began to redevelop the old “Jacquet mills” on the river the Usses, in the place known as “Les Chosals”, which he transformed into a hydroelectric power station.

Dina was planning to build an astronomical and meteorological observatory on the Salève, which he wanted to equip with the most powerful telescope ever designed. This project could not be completed, but Dina bought the Vallot observatory in Chamonix in 1925.

Assan died mysteriously on 24 June 1928, while he was celebrating his fifteenth wedding anniversary on a liner in the Red sea.

In 1930 Mary married Ernest Britt, a pianist who squandered her fortune.
She died in 1938 following an accident, one year after her divorce with Ernest Britt.

AUCTION

The estate was sold to Mr. Guillermin, departmental councillor of Savoy in 1936. Six months later, he put up for auction furniture and some works of art.
Il vendit la propriété à une société civile immobilière constituée et présidée par le comte François-Maurice de Sales. En 1939 une nouvelle société fut créée pouraccueillir au château des familles dans le besoin jusqu'en 1941.

JUILLY PRIVATE SCHOOL

In 1942, the estate was let to an organization run by the Swiss Red Cross: "Le Secours suisse aux enfants victimes de guerre."
In 1949, the non-trading real estate companysold the property to the Oratorians who established in the castle a first-rate private school, the Collège de Juilly, welcoming future important people such as Jean-Jacques Debout, Claude Brasseur, Jacques Mesrine and many others, until 1970.

A CONTROVERSIAL ARCHITECT HAUSERMANN

Allowed by Mr. Duvernay to fall into decay for ten years, the castle was bought by Mr. Hausermann in 1981. He started refurbishing it, but could not finally complete the ambitious and highly controversial urbanization plan he had envisaged.

THE ODIN FAMILY

Taking up the challenge, Nicolas Odin and his family, natives from the Abergement, 3 km below, embarked on the adventure. Caterer by trade, he took control of it. Eager toexpand his business and to increase the value of the property while preserving this exceptional site, he transformed the estate into a hotel-restaurant.

A NEW IMPETUS

Laurence and Nicolas Odin have ensured for 22 years the smooth running of the gourmet restaurant of Les Avenières and, as members of Relais et Châteaux, they have always ardently defended the values of the association.
After this experience of high gastronomy, they decided to turn the page in 2016 to create the M, a new gourmet bistro in line with the "chic and trendy" brasseries which are very popular at the moment. This concept perfectly illustrates their state of mind and their views on their job. They consider the customer’s satisfaction to be a central issue and the object of all attentions at all times.
Simple, convivial, almost friendly relationships… And the hosts never miss the chance to be deeply involved with their guests when telling them the story of the castle and trying to share with them, the time of a stay or a meal, their passion for this timeless and mysterious place.