During the Middle Ages, villages in the Haut Jura where specific due to isolated big farms such as you can find in “Longchaumois”. These agricultural villages belonged to Saint Claude Priory. It is only after French Revolution that these villages became independent.
The History of Morez starts in the 15th century. It is closely link to the use of wood and water as prime mover. The existence of the river “La Bienne” encourages a first blacksmith to build a watermill, a forge and a sawmill around 1565. This savage “Combe” will be named “La Combe à Morel” as a tribute to him.
At the end of the 18th century, Pierre Hyacinthe Cazeaux, a nailer has the idea to make big glasses frames with wire. The glasses manufacturing develops in Morez and its surroundings because all farmers have a workshop in their farms so they can have a complementary activity during long winter with no agricultural work going on. Meanwhile, the Mayet Brothers manufacture the first “Comtoise” clocks in Morbier while some people from “Longchaumois” (Chaumerands) start the artisan activity of linear meters.
At the end of the 19th century, Morez is known worldwide for its glasses manufacturing and exports the products all over the world. The end of the 20th century with its numerous crises will be harder to handle but Morez remains today the national capital of glasses manufacturing. The activity employs 1500 people, make 2 millions of frames a year, creates 2000 new models each year and welcomes thousands of visitors in its new “Musée de France” (The glasses museum in Morez) based on the great collection from “Essilor-Marly”.
“Comtoise” clocks are still made in Morbier and Bellefontaine and “La maison du mètre” (the meter house) opened in “Longchaumois” in 2011.
The special work of enamel begins in the middle of the 18th century to ensure the manufacturing of enameled dials for Comtoise clocks. A century later this industry will be at its best thanks to “Coeurs de Morez” which are enameled hearts posted onto graves, street signs and houses numbers. This know-how still exists nowadays in our region.