As you drive up the long driveway in the Jura Mountains in southern France up to the Graber Ancestral home at Mont-Prevoir; this is your first view. It is also the view that my uncle Ora Graber had put in his book, The Graber Immigrants 1650-1984.

The place is currently a working dairy farm. The house is on the left and the barn right past it. On the left you can see an older building which is the first house Peter Graber(1745-1805) had built when he moved to this farm on the top of the mountain which he called Mont-Prevoir. In the photo you can see two of the current residents children; Leanna and Noah. Not sure of the spelling as this is in France and I am not good with French. A Graber cousin Stefan Graber was our guide and he was our interpreter.  When I showed the current owner and his children the book and the pictures in it, they were excited. They had no idea their farm was that famous.  They did, however say, that a few years ago some Amish people visited there but they had no idea what they wanted or why they came.

Joseph wrote an earlier post about this area and posted some of the pictures from the Graber book. Read that here.

DSC_0337This is a closeup of the front side of the house Peter Graber built when he first moved his family from Audincourt to Mont-Prevoir. The present owner said there used to be another room on this end of the house but it was bad and had been removed. There is a basement, or rather a cave in the area under the house and at one time cheese was made there.

DSC_0322This is looking at the backside of the house built by Peter Graber.

DSC_0435The dairy barn with the Peter Graber house in the background.

DSC_0333These are a special breed of cattle originally bred and named by our ancestor John Graber who lived in Montbéliarde and are now known as the Montbéliarde cows. The are the best milk and cheese cows and are very popular here in France and Switzerland. Here is a link to a Wikipedia article about these cows.

DSC_0447This current owner, (on the four wheeler with his oldest son, Leo) is bringing in his herd of Montbéliarde cows for the evening milking.

DSC_0249This is looking across from the current farm house and into the valley and the mountain on the other side. The views are great up here and it is hard to catch it with a camera.

IMG_9596And this is standing in front of the current house and looking down the driveway that heads down the mountain. It is paved now and goes beyond this farm.  Traffic came through there when we were there. In Ora Grabers’ book he called it a 2 mile driveway and the picture showed it to be a trail.


External Links:

Graber Family Ancestral Home




  1. Erma Graber-Mast

    Lester…so very interesting to see and read this post! Your time there must be incredibly fascinating! Makes me kind of jealous, but am very glad for your family to get to visit there.

  2. Julie Lehman Pasta

    Dear Lester,
    Enjoyed your post and pictures so much! I am a descendant of Samuel Graber and thus also a descendant of Peter Graber who lived in France. I love genealogy and love your info you’ve shared here! I have ordered several of Ora’s books in the past and am glad you have continued his work.
    Julie (Lehman) Pasta
    PS – my mother is Ellen (Graber) Lehman

  3. Lester Graber

    Thanks, Erma and Julie, you would both love to visit over there! It would be nice to visit with all of you again.

  4. Steve graber

    Lester, we were the couple that visited the farm a few years ago and could not communicate very well with the young lady that came to the door so we didn’t want to frighten her and we left. Later on is when we learn to know Stephan Graber when he came over from Switzerland and stayed at our bed-and-breakfast in southern Indiana.

    • Lester Graber

      Yes! Stefan talked about you and wants to come back and visit again. He was very happy with his visit to you. We were so fortunate to have him to help us with the French when we visited Mont-Previor. Thanks for the comment!

    • Steve, I am a descendent of Joseph H. Graber who moved his family to N. Dakota. I live in Northern Indiana. Would like to connect with you and learn more about where I tie in with this picture.

  5. Hello, I enjoyed reading about your trip. I’m working on a project that entails the farm next to this one and family who were related to the Graber’s. I would love to communicate with you if you have some time please email when you can. Thanks Andy

  6. I enjoy your blogs, Lester. You have a great picture of the Montbéliarde cows. What would it take for me to put that picture in my book on cheese coming to Sugarcreek Ohio? I am tracing cheese from the Fertile Cresent to Sugarcreek with a lot of emphasis on Anabaptists involvement with cheese making. !

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