Nuits Saint-Pierre

Memories of a House

In 1939 a huge fire destroyed a third of the town of St-Pierre.

feu de 1939 quartier de Nuits Saint-Pierre

Archives Michel Briand et Fils

Joséphine and Georges Pannier’s house was burnt to the ground – a house they had owned for only a few months. They lost everything. However, with great courage and determination, they decided to rebuild on the ruins.

This time, they did not use wood as building material but bricks and soon a bright and spacious house was built where their first home once stood.

The building location, right downtown, was ideal to open a business.


The Maison Pannier in 1941

On the first floor, they set up what will become the very popular « Magasin Général Pannier – Gros et Détail » (Pannier General Store – Wholesale and Retail). The second and third floors were used for the family residence.

M.Pannier working at his desk (Photo P. Derible)

Georges managed the wholesale business and also a Renault dealership. Joséphine was in charge of the retail store. She had exquisite taste and chose to sell products from brand names which are still flourishing today: Petit Bateau, Antinéa, Christofle, etc…Very soon, the Maison Pannier became a prosperous business that would last for many years.

Georges et Joséphine Pannier

Georges et Joséphine Pannier

In 1982, Georges passed away and Joséphine stayed alone in the big house. In 1991, she moved to the old age home where she died at the age of 103. She is remembered as an extraordinary person and an honorable business woman.