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When Karen and Paul Whelan of Coupeville travel they’re always on the look out for something unusual to see or do off the beaten path.  Be it a High School play, a local church choir’s concert or pizza making lessons, Paul and Karen are the quintessential adventurous travelers and always come home with interesting stories of their travels.

Often Karen and Paul stay in one location for a several weeks, and take day trips out into it’s surrounding countryside.

This was the case in a recent trip to Paris.  They’d rented an apartment and settled in for lots of walking, museum visits, park sitting and a pizza making class, and one of their day trips was to travel 160miles north to the town of Coupéville.

Located in north east France close to the German boarder the village of Coupéville is in the “department” of Marne of the french region Champagne-Ardenne.

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With 148 inhabitants and around 50 buildings (businesses, church and homes) Coupéville is as charming as our Coupeville, but much more quiet.

Photo Credit Paul and Karen Whelan

Arriving in Coupéville Paul and Karen went to introduce themselves to the maire de Coupéville (Mayor of).  Sadly Marie Ancellin was not in her office that day, so they left her a message saying they were from Coupeville, in Washington state of the United States and sorry to have missed her.

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Upon returning to the our Coupeville they received the following email from Marie.


Je m’excuse car j’ai bien reçu votre mail mais je n’ai pas eu le temps de vous répondre aussitôt.

J’ai été très déçue de ne pas avoir pu vous rencontrer et je vous remercie des documents sur votre ville.

Vous avez vu que Coupéville, France est un tout petit village de 180 habitants et un seul commerce… Peu de chose à visiter.

J’espère que vous avez fait un bon voyage en France et que vous avez aimé notre pays.

Si je vais aux USA un jour, j’essaierai d’aller dans votre ville. Je garde vos documents, la ville semble très sympathique et agréable

Encore désolée d’avoir raté votre rencontre et sincères salutations

Marie Ancellin, maire de Coupéville


I apologize because I have received your email but I did not have time to answer you immediately.

I was very disappointed not to be able to meet you and thank you for the documents on your city.

You saw that Coupéville, France is a small village of 180 inhabitants and a single trade … Not much to see.

I hope you had a good trip in France and that you liked our country.

If I go to the USA one day I’ll try to go in your city. I’ll keep your documents, the city seems very friendly and nice.

Again sorry I missed your meeting and sincere greetings.

Marie Ancellin Mayor Coupéville

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And so goes your introduction to our sister city

Coupéville France

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If you ever make it to Coupéville, FRANCE, share your experience with us by emailing coupevillehistoricwaterfrontassociation at hotmail dot com or visit our facebook page to share your stories and pictures.

All photos courtesy of Paul and Karen Whelan of Coupeville