As stated in the inscription on the main facade, the mountain farmer Thomas Gyger, “...when he was 77 years old and his wife counted 71...”, had this multi-purpose house built by the carpenter Jakob Pieren in 1698 above the village of Adelboden, on the edge of permanent settlement.
This building in block construction contains living quarters, stable and hay loft under a single roof. The division of the interior is typical of the Frutigen region and enables the cattle to be safely looked after during the snowy winters. The main facade of this wide gable-roofed house faces towards the valley. The structure of the house takes advantage of the slope. On the gable side at the front there is direct access on ground level to the stable and cellar, while on the eaves side a short staircase leads to the living quarters.
The block structure is covered by a shallow-pitched roof. The square, axe-hewn beams cross at the ends to form a sturdy structural unit. Only in the work areas of the building are the horizontal beams partly slotted into grooved posts. The rafter roof is covered with shingles but other houses in Adelboden were roofed with a mixture of shingles and slates. Tree branches called “Gretzeni” are attached to the foremost rafter. These are meant to break the force of the wind, and perhaps to keep evil spirits and misfortune out of the house.
A striking feature of the lower storey is the low cowshed. In the Frutigen region, as late as the 18th century, a breed of cattle was kept whose height at the shoulder was barely 120 centimetres. The other rooms on the ground floor were used mainly as cellars, but it was not unusual for the room on the gable side to house a workshop. In this case a small workshop for making wood-shaving-boxes is installed.
The kitchen is entered directly from the balcony. The stone hearth on which the open fire burns is located in the corner adjacent to the parlour. The kitchen walls and chimney are of wood. Most of the family slept here and in the adjoining room and, in order to save space, during the day, trundle beds were used. Next to the kitchen there is a small larder that was used for storing milk. There is a special story to the narrow passage leading from the kitchen to the hayloft. A milking bucket stands there which had been turned into a portable toilet and emptied onto the manure heap at least once per day. This place was aptly referred to as the “Schissgang” (“shit-passage”).
The rooms on the upper floor are accessible from the kitchen via a steep staircase. The conical chimney made from planks become visible in the attic room. Above the cowshed, the hay was
stored up to rafter level. To facilitate bringing it into the loft, there is a large door at the back of the attic. The hay was carried up the steep ladder in bundles.
Behind the house is the reconstruction of a stove for cooking dockleaves (No. 1013). The alpine sorrel (rumex alpinus), known as “Blacken”, was boiled for pig slop and then stored in troughs in a similar way to modern silage. The lean-to roof of the boiler is covered with shingles and slates.