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La Reid

Ø Principality of Liège (Marquisate of Franchimont, Theux district)
Ø Ourthe département.
Ø Liège Province.
Ø Verviers district.
Ø Liège Diocese

First mentioned in 1323 in the form "Ries", La Reid was originally included in the Theux "fiscus" (tax area) and was part of the "Terre de Franchimont" until the end of the Ancien Régime. It came under the Theux Court of Justice. However, in 1619, the villages of La Reid, Becco and Winamplanche were separated and given in pledge to Simon de Maretz, but this break-up did not last long.

The rights of use over the Porallée Miraculeuse Dieu et Saint-Pierre, a vast expanse of moor and heath, now wooded, were poorly defined between the principality of Liège, the duchy of Luxembourg and that of Limbourg. Many border conflicts arose in the 16th and 17th centuries between the people of La Reid and Becco on the one hand, and the inhabitants of Remouchamps and other "Porallistes" on the other. Under the French régime, these lands, which in fact belonged to nobody and whose use was linked to residence within a specific distance, were claimed primarily by the municipalities of La Reid and Aywaille. They were divided up in 1830.

A similar problem arose with regard to Saint-Remacle municipality which belonged to the prince-bishop of Liège but over which the prince-abbot of Stavelot had assumed certain rights. In 1768, the land was divided putting an end to the conflict. On 18 November 1794, French and Austrian fought at the place known as "Hautregard". In year IV (1795), La Reid was separated from Theux.

The "Capella Dellere", mentioned for the first time in the register of 1558, was established as a parish church in 1803. In the same year, Becco was also endowed with an additional parish church whereas Desnié and Winamplanche were only so endowed in 1845 and 1842. Under the Ancien Régime, the iron industry was established at La Reid as in the rest of the Marquisate of Franchimont. At the beginning of the 16th century, watercourses were granted to operate blast furnaces: one of them, built in 1505, was converted into an edge-tool factory in 1566. The other main sources of income were sheep farming - the sheep being taken to pasture on the heath -, the cultivation of poor cereal fields, and spinning of wool at home. Since the 19th century, much clearing has been done. Today, the inhabitants live mainly from grazing crops (1393 ha) whereas the woods (975 ha) provide a good return for the municipality.

Since 1953, the provincial agriculture, forestry and paper-making college has been located at LA REID as has the Gobert Martin home (under the Verviers CPAS) for people suffering from pulmonary diseases. Also in La Reid is a game park where most representatives of European fauna, especially wolves, can be found in semi-freedom.

The population is thinly spread across four villages and many hamlets and has fallen steadily since the early 19th century. However, attracted by the beauty of the place, more and more people are establishing their second home, or even their first, at La Reid.