Between the villages of Hsarat and Gherfine, in the Jbeil District, lies the forgotten mountainside village of Bjerrine. A hike to the lost town must be made since the road to the village no longer exists.
There, several stone walls remain, leaving traces and ruins of the people who had once inhabited this land 100 years ago.
The deteriorated walls tell stories of the past. With an abandoned silk factory, the Maronite village was once known for producing silk. It is said they grew wheat crops and had tobacco plants.
Now, it is an abandoned town with stone houses that have lost their roofs and whose people have all disappeared. What happened to them?
According to 89-year-old Simon Mershad Nehme, the town’s people were very peaceful and friendly.
Al-Mohajer spoke with Mr. Mehme who had heard stories about the Bjerrine tragedy from his family. He said that the residents of Bjerrine were very helpful and had all worked together to build their town up.
“It was once a beautiful village, famous for its greenery with a plentiful supply of water from deep wells, but now all that remains are the deteriorated walls of houses that were once the homes of its villagers,” wrote Al-Mohajer.
The last activity from the town dates back to the time of World War I. The tales say the inhabitants fled, escaping the tyranny of the Ottomans who had taken over Lebanon at the time.
“The townspeople fled to the United States, escaping the starvation that Lebanon was witnessing around the time of World War I,” recounted Simon.
Bjerrine’s people made the plan to get to the Lebanese shore and escape. It was either that or starve to death in their homes.
Some say that the people of Bjerrine had all crammed into one boat in order to flee, and this boat sank. Some say they reached Brazil but there is so far no confirmation of either story.
Till today, no one can be truly sure what happened to them and how could an entire once-vibrant town could be left to slumber into such oblivion.
It gets visitors though. It’s a hot spot for hikers, adventurers, and story lovers.