The origins of the Tentlingen farmhouse go back to a period of intensive field farming in the pre-alpine region. The stable with its gently inclined gabled roof is the oldest section of the house with its origins in the 17th century. The house entrance, threshing-floor portal, and stall were found at that time at an opening on the eaves side of the house. Only a few houses in this original style are preserved in the Canton of Fribourg.
In the second half of the 18th century, smallholders also started to construct their houses along baroque lines. Joseph Corpataux, the owner of this building, followed this tendency when he decided to redo his living quarters. The carpenter found a solution to his task by constructing a cross-ridge with gabled arches over the typical show facade. The farming family gained through this more room as well as better light in the upper floor and finally possessed a modern house conforming to their social standing.
In spite of newly-won prestige, the old concept remained the same. The house had a square parlour and narrow sleeping quarters hardly as wide as a bed of those times, which in this case could be heated by the parlour oven (what luxury!) thanks to an opening in the wall. The house entrance leads into the kitchen which is laid with sandstone tiles. It could have, however, no direct connection to the parlour because of smoke. A sliding hatch had to suffice for the food dishes to be passed to the friendly atmosphere of the parlour. The small larder cupboard in the corner of the kitchen contains some implements used in milk production in Fribourg.
The interior from the 18th century has, in large part, survived. The parlour has beamed walls. Built-in furnishings, an original alcove and a sandstone oven from the 19th century were transported along with the house.
The parlour walls are made of thick boards, but the weak material of the sandstone oven usually only has a relatively short life span. This one was replaced after about 100 years and the new one fulfilled its function for exactly this amount of time until being dismantled for transport. The partially-painted furniture from the time around 1800 are objects lent by the Sensler Museum of Local Culture in Tafers FR. A few tools for straw-working also come from this region. The humble wealth of the farmers seems to have declined again after the end of the “ancien régime”. From the middle of the 19th century the house was divided between two or even sometimes three households in the not substantially enlarged building. Some of the inhabitants were craftspeople or poor-ly paid homeworkers (women and children) who practised basket-weaving. This makes a comparison with another pre-alpine cross-ridge house a great source of information, namely that from Brülisau AI (No. 911), which can thank profitable cattle-raising for its magnificent dimensions.
The wooden covered chimney, found in West Switzerland all the way into the Bernese Oberland and sometimes falsely called “burgundy style”, was used to allow meat to smoke. After preparing the ham and bacon, they were placed in the small meat cupboard in the upper floor. On this floor there is also another bedroom with a pergola for the drying of fruits of the field and clothes. As was generally done in the western Swiss Midlands out of fire-safety considerations, two vital occupations were removed from the area of the farmhouse. The baking of bread took place in the farm’s own oven and the storage of the grain harvest was done in free-standing grain storehouses.