The most famous Dutchman in Noirmoutier rests in this Vendée cemetery

The most famous Dutchman in Noirmoutier rests in this Vendée cemetery

La Croix de la Crosnière, in Beauvoir-sur-Mer. © Franck Fischbach

There used to be a commune on the island of Pé (state of Crosnière). This island, located south of Gois, was connected to the mainland by a sandbar, a 50m girl, which was only discovered at low tide.

Our Lady of La Crosnière

The site is interesting for its glass-rich mudflats. And investors imagine that it is possible to polder the site. What will be done with the most famous Dutchman of the Vendée, who gave the name of the hotel and pier on the island of Noirmoutier: Cornel Guislain Jacobsen.

He can accomplish this task with thousands of men in one year. They drain the land using a 6-kilometer embankment. And in 1768, the first inhabitants could settle on this territory reclaimed from the sea.

In 1772, this place officially became the parish of the so-called Our Lady of La Crosnièrewith a church and a priest and at the height of its activity about thirty houses.

With the Revolution, parishes became communes and the parish of La Crosnière (then attached to Beauvoir-sur-Mer) disappeared from the registers in 1797.

Here lies Jacobsen

Cornil Ghislain Jacobsen rests with his family at the Crosnière cemetery in Beauvoir-sur-Mer.
Cornil Ghislain Jacobsen rests with his family at the Crosnière cemetery in Beauvoir-sur-Mer. © Franck FISCHBACH

Today, only a few tombs remain at the site of La Crosnière, maintained by the association Friends of the island of Crosnière, Noure, Gois and the surrounding area (Official webpage). These graves are from 88 settlers from the island of La Crosnière (sometimes children) whose names are engraved on the four plates.

But at the foot of the large cross in the cemetery you can also discover the tombs of famous historical figures: the Jacobsen family.

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Especially Cornil Guislain Jacobsen (1728/1787), Lord of La Crosnière, to whom we owe the polders and dykes. But also his son Jean Corneille Jacobsen (1750/1834), vice-mayor of Noirmoutier.

You can also see the tomb of Jeanne-Thérèse Louise Lauwers, the sister of Cornil Guislain Jacobsen and the wife of the first manager of La Crosnière, Pierre-Joseph Lefebvre.

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