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The area where Chamonix now happily resides was most likely trampled over by the
Gauls throughout early history. Its documented history however, dates back to 1091 when the count of the Genevois was given the valley. History becomes sleepy and shady over the next couple of centuries aside from the knowledge that the small village held fairs twice annually; fairs which brought in bishops and nobles.
The beauty of the valley became known to more when Englishman, Pococke and Windham, trekking through the are discovered it in 1741. Their recordings on this gorgeous valley, which were published in Britain and elsewhere, promoted great interest. The idea of tourism in the valley was now underway. By 1770 the first guest house popped up and soon enough celebrities and high class citizens were heading to Chamonix.
The tourism industry only continued to grow prompting the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix to form in 1821. For awhile the Compagnie had strict rules and were the only group allowed to act as guides to the city. But the French government stepped in years later and broke up the power, taking it away from residents and passing it on to professionals.
1924 the Winter Olympics
were held here and brought even more tourist attention and the industry continues to grow even today.