Although, the Road of Ores is centered on
the mines and the installations linking the mines, it is not possible to
discuss the area without mentioning the old house of Mouchet.
In 1872, houses were built as guest homes for French engineers, such as Coignet or Mouchet, who were appointed to modernize and mechanize the mines.
In 1878, a new type of ore was found in the Mikobata’s mine and the guest house of Mouchet was moved nearby.
After the return of the French engineers in 1880, the house was transformed into office building, then later it was used as a clinic. Since then, the house has been called “the old Mouchet House”. The Mouchet House is now listed as a cultural heritage site of Hyogo Prefecture.
In 2004, due to deterioration and construction of a national road, the house was moved and huge restoration works started. The house was rebuilt exactly as it was originally. These restorations were made based upon old pictures from the time the house was situated at Ikuno.
The house was built in the style of colonial architecture. A Characteristic of this architecture is“Quoins” (quoins are the exposed stone pieces that you sometimes see stacking up only on the corner of a building).
A Characteristic of this architecture is that only stones of corner can be seen. Thus, there is a veranda at the front of the house. The annex, and the fireplace situated within, was also restored.
But, decorations have been restored based on the foreign houses built in Kobe on the beginning of Meiji era. Room dividers and frames have been repainted in original colors. Records show Lescasse was the architect of the house.
Government of Meiji took the management of
the mine of Ikuno. Modernization of the mine by the French engineer, Jean-François Coignet*
|1871||The arrival of the French geologist, Mouchet.|
|1872||Three official houses and two shacks were built for foreign government advisers. One of the houses was the residence of Mouchet.|
|1878||Discovery of new types of ores in the mine of Mikobata Departure of Coignet.|
|1880||Departure of Mouchet.|
|1883||The start of the construction of the road liking Ikuno and Mikobata (Completed in 1885.) The house of Mouchet was deplaced at Mikobata and used as an office.|
|1889||Mines was declared Imperial Estate.|
|1896||Ikuno Mine was sold off to Mitsubishi Company. Transformation of the old house of Mouchet on clinic.|
|1955||Construction of a new clinic.|
|1987||Closing of Akanobe mine and Mikobata processing site.|
|1992||The Mouchet House was listed as cultural heritage site of Hyogo prefecture.|
|2001||Beginning of the restoration works.|
|2004||Demolition of the Mikobata processing site. Opening of the Mouchet House Museum of photography.|