JANUARY 23, 1952
PARIS, Tuesday—Sunday morning my granddaughter and I were joined by Mr. Maurice Schumann, Mr. Tyler, Mrs. Singer and a few others and we boarded a plane at Orly Field and flew to a field not far from Lille, landing there at about 11 o'clock. Mr. Schumann, who, though he is a minister in the government, still represents the Nord Department, of which Lille is the capital, had told me a good deal about his area of the country.
It was flat and not very beautiful in a scenic way. It is a great textile industrial center, with coal fields near by. I have always thought of coal areas as mountain areas, but that is not always true. This coal was in the plain.
First I visited the little town of Lannoy, perhaps the smallest town in France, but with a big population for her small area. There was once a chateau there, with its deep moat and strong towers and around it clustered the little houses of the town and villages beyond. In it lived Jean de Lannoy.
All day I thought how my mother-in-law would have enjoyed this day, which was so full of talk of her ancestors. It was from this little town of Lannoy that the Huguenot members of her family set out to go to Holland and, finally, to America. They built castles in other places such as the one I saw a year or so ago in Luxembourg. Finally, Phillipe de Lannos went to the U.S. and from him descended the numerous Delanos who are in one way or another connected with my mother-in-law.
My husband would have been deeply interested in this whole day too. It would have intrigued him from the historic standpoint.
All of the past seemed to come alive as I listened to the good people whose families had lived for many years in Lannoy.
They made me a citizen of the town; they gave me a copy of a lovely old painting which showed the town as it was in medieval days. And I have some other interesting things to put into the library to show the connection between my husband's family and this little town in the northern part of France.
We lunched in the Chateau, which was partly destroyed by the Germans but which has now been bought by the town because it is almost on the site of the earliest De Lannoy Chateau. The town will convert the big place into a center for the community. There will be playgrounds for the children outside, and clinics, a library, etc., inside.
Today Lannoy is surrounded by other cities that crowd it in on every side. We went from there to Roubaix and then to Lille, but I must take another column to tell you of some of the new things that are happening in that area, which speak of the future and not of the past.