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Trendsetting first lady ‘appears’ for Batavia Depot Museum event

Wed April 27, 2022

Long before the Kardashians, runway models and today’s Hollywood stars became our hot trendsetters, Mamie Eisenhower inspired women across the nation.

She was the belle of the ball. The Inaugural Ball, that is.

Eisenhower will be the focus of a fascinating – and downright delicious – special event on Sunday, May 15, at The Lodge at Laurelwood. From 3-4 p.m., visitors will meet Eisenhower and learn how her decision to wear a delicate, spangled-pink gown to her husband’s inauguration ball resulted in a wave of pink blanketing the nation as homemakers christened “Mamie Pink” as the height of femininity.

Her husband, Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, the 34th president, served from 1953 to 1961. Mamie Eisenhower became America's beloved first lady. Yet in her role as wife, mother and grandmother, Mamie Eisenhower truly influenced the country.

Chicago-area performer Ellie Carlson of Ellie Presents will appear in costume to regale our modern audience with her first-person interpretation in “Mamie Eisenhower: The Hostess in Chief.

"Ellie has Mamie down," said Marilyn Irvin Holt, who authored the biography, “Mamie Doud Eisenhower: The General's First Lady.”

Carlson appears as Mamie during the early years of Ike’s first term in office, as she prepares a box of keepsakes to become part of her personal papers. While Ike served as president, she especially loved decorating the White House for Christmas.

Find out what it was like living in Panama and the Philippines between the first and second world wars, and about her loving relationship with Ike, which weathered horrible rumors and long separations as he rose through the ranks in the Army. The couple wed in 1916.

During this event, Mamie will share her famous fudge with attendees, answer questions and pose for photographs afterward. The Lodge is located at 800 N. River St. and the event is $10 per person. Register at

Mamie Eisenhower image of painting

Carlson’s portrayal of Mamie received a standing ovation in July 2016 at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas, and Carlson was pleased to be welcomed by Mamie's youngest grandchild, Mary Jean. She appeared there again in May 2017 and is scheduled to return to the Eisenhower Library about twice a year for special events.

For more information on Mamie and seven additional characters that Carlson portrays, visit or call 312-771-2400. A direct link to Mamie’s page is located on Carlson’s site.

For more information on Batavia Park District programs and events, call 630-879-5235 or visit