In 1860, Beaulieu is a hamlet of Villefranche with about 200 inhabitants living on agriculture and fishing. The rattachement* to France caused the opening up: the coastal road reached Beaulieu in 1863 and the railway in 1868. The first estates and hotels were built in the years 1870-1880; the restaurant La Reserve opened in 1880. Prestigious guests such as lord Salisbury, British Prime Minister, and Hippolyte Marinoni* settle down on the spot. The development of Beaulieu brought certain residents as Marinoni and a local personality, count François de May, to ask, from 1886 , Beaulieu to become an autonomous municipality. The mayor of Villefranche, Désiré Pollonais, fought energetically this project. Petitions and ardent declarations succeed ed one another from both sides. Finally, in 1891 , the Parliament granted " the independence " to Beaulieu, by recognizing it a small territory of 93 hectares counting then 485 inhabitants. Marinoni was elected a mayor but he resigned one month later, giving his place to de May.

Cane André : Naissance d'une commune, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Nice Historique, 1991, n° 3.
Cane André : Histoire de Villefranche-sur-Mer et de ses anciens hameaux de Beaulieu et de Saint-Jean, Nice, 1978, 521 pages.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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