Thanks to the generosity of an uncle, Raymond and Alphonse Réthoré settle into the Chateau de la Mercerie in 1924 in the small manor of the XIXth century located at the extreme left of the frontage of the current building.
In the Thirties, the two brothers undertake the enlarging of the castle under the direction of Alphonse who gives up his studies of medicine to devote itself to architecture.
In 1932, Raymond becomes mayor of Magnac. He is elected Front populaire on the radical-socialist list , re-elected in 1958 to 1978, he passes then under the banner gaullist. Friend of the general (he was used as a interpreter with Russia) the deputy carries out a life of a unrepentant traveller.
During the years of records, the construction of the building and the accumulation of treasures, such as paintings of Italian Masters, marbles, woodworks and sculptor, became the principal occupations of the two brothers.
In 1970, work is stopped. In 1982, a proposal of legacy to the National Assembly is refused. Even for the Town of Angouleme, which inherits however five thousand volumes of the library of Réthoré. In 1983, Alphonse dies, then Raymond in 1986. Three million postponed towards the tax department, threatens of executory seizure, nightmarish death taxes: an auction is organized by Bernard Charennac, sole legatee; it takes place in 1987. Since 1988, the Chateau de la Mercerie is the property of Mr. Bernard Steinitz, a Parisian antique dealer in the Saint-Honoré suburb. he also has a workshop of restoration in Saint-Ouen (inventory of interior decorations of XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries).
In 2012, the chateau opens it doors to visitors for the first time as the mairie gets a 75 year lease on the chateau in exchange for carrying out the necessary works need to restore the chateau for later generations to enjoy, we were the very first paying visitors and its a magnificent sight to be able to see the building fresh before any work has begun and maybe visit again in a few years as the restoration continues.
please note that the chateau is only visit-able by appointment only (big dogs keep guard the rest of the time), see the website for more information.