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Belgian Guests Enjoy Upper Peninsula Visit Oct. 1964

Aubin Van Landschoot and his wife Alphonsine visit family in the Upper Peninsula. Oct. 1964

The VanLandshoots said jet plane is a wonderful way to travel but they encountered some very rough weather, which made it unpleasant for them on their trip here. The VanLandschoots left Belgium on October 20, and flew from Luxembourg, to New York and to Detroit. Mrs. Grace Barnes of Pontiac, daughter of Philip Van Landshoot of Munising, Mr. VanLandshoot's uncle, met them in Detroit and after three days' visit in Pontiac, drove them to Munising on October 24.

On October 30 they left for Superior Wis., and Duluth, Minn., to visit relatives. Said Mr. VanLandshoot,"I have more relatives in the United States than I have in Belgium. My wife's father came to the States before WWI then returned to Belgium and joined the army. He never returned to the states. She has no relatives here."

The couple left Friday for a another visit in Munising and will return here on December 2 or 3. They will leave Escanaba on December 7 and leave Detroit on December 14'en route home. "We have to get back," he said,"and look after our children, Jack 10 and Andrea 6, and begin our painting and redecorating work inpreparation for opening our business in March. "We wish we couId stay longer, but we are looking forward to another visit here in four years, "We enjoyed visits, recently, in our home with Gus Lierman and Alphonse. Demeter and many others trom this area," he concluded. Joanna Van landschoot 1877-1967
Aubin with his aunt Joanna vanLandschoot Louis (Knokke° 1867-1967 Escanaba, MI)

Mr. and Mrs. VanLandshoot, Guests since November 11 at the home of Mrs. Earl Gillis and her mother, Mrs. Harry Louis, have been Mr. and Mrs. Aubin VanLandshoot of Knokke-Zoute, Belgium, in the United States for the first time. They are nephew and niece of Mrs. Louis. The VanLandshoots described their vacation as a very enjoyable one. Aubin VanLandschoot with wife and Mrs Gillis "We are amazed at the great forests and the inland lakes, which we never dreamed could be so large. And the great expanse of land. How we wish we could take some of it back with us to Belgium. "There is no hunting in Belgium as it known here," VanLandshoot said. "Hunting is only for the rich for ,and all the hunting land is privately owned. There are no public hunting areas.There are some deer in Southern Belgium .There are wild pigs, pheasants, wild rabbits, partridge, ducks and geese a and lots of hare.

" Our country of Belgium is about the size of the Upper Peninsula but it has a • population of 9,000 000," said VanLandshoot, as compared with population for compared with about 300,000 population for the Upper Peninsula. Our town of Knokke o Zoute, is known as " The Garden of the North Sea." In winter the population is 13,000 but in summer the English, German and French people as well as many residents from all over Belgium converge upon the city as a summer resort and swell the city's population to 100,000. • 85% of the tourists are Belgian. "Some of the summer homes in Knokke- Zoute, called villas, cost as much as 3,000,000 Belgian francs, or $60,000 in American money. They are closed in winter, with only the caretakers to look after them." Businesses, which cater to the tourist trade. Primarly like to the VanLandshoot's "Au-Moulin", or "The Mill," close for four months during the winter-time but open on late March weekends and eight days before Easter they open for the summer. Tea Room Le Moulin
"The Mill" was built by VanLandshoot's father, the late Andries VanLandshoot after his visit to the United States in 1950. It was patterned similar to Gladstone's, The Midway, which was new at the time and which appealed to him in style and design. Andries died in 1957. The Mill, a bar and a restaurant, specializes in the afternoon serving of waffles. Seating capacity in-side is for 250 guests, with a large garden in the rear containing a replica of a real mill, which is located nearby. The VanLandshoots have ten employes helping run their business in the summer. "Beer is very cheap in Belgium," says VanLandshoot," 7 beers for a dollar. "We play with the homing pigeons in Belgium", VanLandshoot explained. "Some people pay as much as $1,200 for a pigeon. I have 26 pigeons in my pigeon house, which is about 9 yards long and 3 yards wide. Every year I raise from 30 to 40 pigeons and I pick out two or three of the best and kill the rest. We have a pigeon club with headquarters in Brussells. "First trip for a young pigeon will be about like from here to Escanaba then later they will fly to France on a five or six hour trip. There is lots of betting on the pigeons. Flying into a wind a pigeon can fly about 45 miles an hour, with a tail wind it can reach 90 miles per hour." Le Moulin 1959 (foto Gino Blanckart
Le Moulin 1959 (foto Gino Blanckart)

Mr. VanLandshoot was asked to talk on November 13 to students of the All Saints school Sixth grade, who were studying Belgium. They asked him questions about the king of Belgium, the roads, the harbor at Antwerp, about the money and about the schools. Mr. VanLandshoot explained to them that Belgium is 95% Catholic and 5% other religions and that Catholic religion is taught in the public bchools. He told them that the boys and girls go to school in separate schools until they are 18, and from 8:45 to 11:30 a. m, and from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., with only July and August as the vacation months. "However he said, " they have 14 days vacation at Christmas and 14 days at Easter time. Boys and girls may not marry until they are 21 in Belgium without their parents signature," he told them.

source: The Delta Reporter Gladstone, MI * 25 nov 1964