Eisenhower Home 3D Tour - Audio Described
1. Portrait of John Eisenhower This West Point portrait is of John Eisenhower, Ike and Mamie’s only child to live to adulthood. After graduating on June 6, 1944—a graduation which General Eisenhower himself missed--John had a long career as an army officer and went on to become a diplomat and noted military historian. This portrait originally hung in the White House and came to Gettysburg when the Eisenhowers left Washington. 2. Guestbook A focal point in the entryway, all visitors—including family members—were asked to sign this guestbook upon entering the Eisenhower home. Inside its pages are the signatures of Jawaharlal Nehru, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Charles de Gaulle, and Winston Churchill. Ike and Mamie used this guestbook as part of their charm and warmth to welcome guests into their home. 3. “The United States” Wallpaper The wallpaper on the staircase wall is certainly a reminder that you are in the home of a president! Mrs. Eisenhower chose this pattern, with a custom color to match the paint. It features the Great Seal of the United States and the seals of 49 states, all except Alaska. Still the original wallpaper from 1955, it serves as a reminder of the United States adding the last states to the union during Eisenhower’s presidency—Alaska and Hawaii. Living Room 4. Queen Elizabeth II and Family This photo shows Queen Elizabeth with her husband, Prince Philip, and their two oldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. A gift to the Eisenhowers in 1957, it is signed by both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. General Eisenhower had become close to the queen’s father, George VI, during World War II and maintained ties with the British royal family until his death. 5. Pouf This yellow velvet pouf, which dominates a good portion of the Eisenhowers’ living room, was a gift from Mamie’s mother, Elivera Carlson Doud, and her sister, Mabel Frances “Mike” Doud Moore. A housewarming present in 1955, it is modeled after a similar pouf that Mamie was quite fond of in the China Room of the White House. 6. Miniature of Ghent Altarpiece This miniature replica of Jan van Eyck’s famous Ghent Altarpiece was a gift to President Eisenhower from King Leopold and Princess Lilian of Belgium in 1958. During World War II, Nazi Germany stole the original altarpiece. At the close of the war, through the efforts of the fabled “Monuments Men,” the Ghent Altarpiece was one of the first pieces of stolen art returned to its native country. The gift is one of a few pieces in the living room that reflect Eisenhower’s role as Supreme Allied Commander during the war. 7. Korean Table One of the more attractive pieces in the living room is this beautiful coffee table made of black lacquer with inlaid abalone shell designs across its top and sides. A gift from Francesca Donner Rhee, the first lady of South Korea, to Mamie Eisenhower, it was presented on the first anniversary of the signing of the armistice ending active combat during the Korean War. The inscription reads, “Presented to Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower from Mrs. Sigmund Rhee, July 1954.” 8. Silk Iranian Carpet This elegant Persian rug was presented to the President by Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as a gift of thanks. Without Eisenhower's nod, the Shah would never have held power. In 1953, the CIA helped overthrow democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddegh by hiring men from the criminal underworld to stage riots. With the democratically-elected leader out of the way and the friendly Shah in power, Eisenhower could be sure Communism was held at bay and oil would flow freely to the West. This rug was a simple reminder under his feet of the victory. 9. Marble Fireplace Mantel This marble fireplace was initially crafted for the White House in 1854 and resided in the East Room until the Grant administration. Removed in 1873, the mantle was eventually sold as excess government property. One hundred years after its installation in the White House, White House staff were able to locate the piece and presented it to the Eisenhowers as a 38th wedding anniversary gift. 10. Painting of Elivera Doud This portrait by Thomas E. Stephens depicts Mamie Eisenhower’s mother, Elivera Carlson Doud. It originally hung in the White House before being installed in the living room in 1961. Mamie and her mother were extremely close, and Mrs. Doud often stayed with the Eisenhowers until her death in 1960. Sunporch 11. Sunporch While the sunporch was usually a setting for friends and family, it also witnessed one of the most important meetings of Eisenhower’s presidency. In these chairs, President Eisenhower sat with Premier Nikkita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War. The meeting, in September 1959, included the Eisenhower grandchildren and, for a moment, saw a thaw in tensions between the East and West. That thaw ended with the U-2 spy plane incident eight months later. 12. Eisenhower's Painting Easel General Eisenhower took up painting in 1948 and it quickly became one of his favorite hobbies. He preferred to paint on the porch where the light was best. Today a reproduction of his unfinished painting of Culzean Castle rests on his painting easel. He had started this landscape scene in the fall of 1967, but a heart attack left him unable to finish the piece. Dining Room 13. Silver Tea Service While Eisenhower was a major in the US Army, he bought Mamie this silver tea service that sits in the dining room today. Using his winnings at poker to help fund the gifts, he bought each piece individually. Made by the Wilcox Silver Plate Division of the International Silver Company, each piece is inscribed “DDE to MDE” for Dwight David Eisenhower to Mamie Doud Eisenhower. Kitchen 14. Kitchen This room was described by "Better Homes and Gardens" as the kitchen of the future in the mid-1950s. Mamie had a reputation of avoiding cooking, except for fudge and mayonnaise, so the kitchen was Delores Moaney’s domain. Beloved by the family, Delores Moaney worked for three generations of Eisenhowers. The children, as Delores called the Eisenhower grandchildren, used a notepad on the spice cabinet in the corner to write her all kinds of notes when they visited. Butler’s Pantry 15. Butler’s Pantry This room between the dining room and kitchen added significant workspace and cabinets to the kitchen. The room contained the refrigerator, a dishwasher and plate warmer. The breakfast tray on the counter was used to provide Mamie breakfast in bed while she earnestly did her daily correspondence. Laundry Room 16. Sewing Machine Sgt. John Moaney had served at Eisenhower's side for years by the time he worked in this room washing and repairing the president's clothes. In Europe, as Eisenhower was leading the Allies’ defeat of Nazi Germany, Moaney's position as a valet highlighted some Allied hypocrisies. Moaney was a black man; the United States Army fighting in Europe was firmly segregated. Moaney grew to be the general and president's indispensable assistant. And in this room―using the very same sewing machine he had bought during the war in Europe―Moaney worked behind the scenes helping the president maintain his appearances. The Moaneys’ Room 17. The Moaneys’ Room John Moaney was the Eisenhowers’ valet, and his wife Delores was their cook. They lived in this private bedroom and bathroom in the far wing of the house. Even after the death of General Eisenhower, the couple continued serving Mamie. There is a photo of Delores on the dresser, and the tools on the dresser reflect the small household jobs that Sgt. Moaney, as he was referred to, always performed. Den 18. Ike’s Den Furniture The den provided a relaxing and comfortable setting for General Eisenhower and his friends and the Moaneys as well, when the Eisenhowers weren’t using it. The furniture was custom-made in 1954 by the Shoshone Furniture Company of Cody, Wyoming in a western style . The room contains wood flooring and beams that were salvaged from the original log cabin during the 1953 to 1955 construction and renovations, as well as the fireplace from the original summer kitchen. 19. Gettysburg Battlefield Map On the western wall of the Eisenhower den, this John Bachelder battlefield map of Gettysburg was a 1953 gift to the president from future Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who was then the Undersecretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Eisenhower had a deep interest in the Battle of Gettysburg and Civil War history, frequently taking his farm guests on battlefield tours. Ike’s Office 20. Desk With Eisenhower collectively spending over one year of his presidency in Gettysburg, he needed a place in his home to get work done. This yellow pine desk, made from floorboards removed from the White House, provided just such a place. White House carpenters fashioned it after one owned by George Washington and presented the desk to Eisenhower in 1954, the year before his Gettysburg home was finished. 21. Print of Lincoln Eisenhower’s home office was not complete without this G.P.A. Healy portrait of Abraham Lincoln, one of the president’s heroes. While the original portrait was done in Springfield, Illinois in November 1860, this print was given to the president in 1955. It hangs on the western wall of the office, looking over Ike’s shoulder as he sat at his desk, doing the business of the American people. Second Floor Second Floor Hallway 22. Painting: The Mexican President Eisenhower painted this work, "The Mexican," in 1953. Mamie loved the painting too much to let him give it away; they kept it on display in their home. A year later, Attorney General Herbert Brownell acting under Ike’s direction, launched a massive and often violent immigration enforcement program in Southern California and along the southern border. Using a racial slur in its very title, "Operation Wetback" as it was officially named, expelled over a million men, women, and children who looked similar to the man in Mamie's favorite painting. Mrs. Doud’s Room 23. Telephone in Mrs. Doud's Room Despite always maintaining her own home in Denver, Mrs. Doud would often stay with her daughter and son-in-law both in Gettysburg and at the White House. Mrs. Doud was very close to her daughter and they corresponded frequently via letters and the telephone. Often they would even use the telephone to call each other when they were in bed in their bedrooms, just several feet apart. Sitting Room 24. Drapes Made From the “Eisenhower Toile” Fabric Created during Eisenhower’s presidency, this fabric is known as the “Eisenhower Toile” and features places significant in the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The illustrations include the White House, the Gettysburg farm, and West Point, among others. It was designed by Elisabeth Draper who was also the interior designer of this Gettysburg farmhouse. Mamie was such a fan of the print that she had a dress in red and a raincoat and rainhat in blue made as well. 25. Painting: Winter, St. Louis Creek This painting, entitled “Winter, St. Louis Creek," was another painting of Ike’s of which Mamie was particularly fond. President Eisenhower had started the painting while visiting Mrs. Doud in the fall of 1955, but had to complete the painting in Fitzsimmons Hospital after his first heart attack. St. Louis Creek in Colorado was one of the president’s favorite fly fishing spots. General’s Room 26. Nightstand in the General’s Room This unique nightstand was a gift from the White House ushers to President Eisenhower. Crafted by the White House carpenters during the 1948 to 1952 renovations, the nightstand is made of wood from a sycamore tree that once stood on the grounds of the White House. This reminder of the White House was placed in the room where the president took afternoon naps while recuperating from his 1955 heart attack. Mamie’s Dressing Room 27. Ike's West Point Photograph While Ike and Mamie were dating, he inscribed a copy of his senior photo as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to her- “To the dearest and sweetest girl in the world.” The sentimental Mamie always placed the photo on her dressing table in every home they ever lived in. Master Bedroom 28. Portrait of David, Anne, and Susan Above the fireplace in the master bedroom hangs a portrait by Thomas E. Stephens of the Eisenhowers’ three oldest grandchildren, David, Anne, and Susan. The painting was a Christmas gift from Ike to Mamie and shows what deep affection the couple had for their grandchildren. 29. Portrait of Mary Jean A portrait of the Eisenhowers’ youngest granddaughter, Mary Jean Eisenhower, hangs above the Sheraton chest of drawers. This painting was done by Jewel Grantham in 1958. The Stephens painting of the other grandchildren was painted before Mary Jean was born. Mamie made certain that all of their grandchildren were represented in her most personal space. 30. Bed Tray With Pen and Stationery Mamie Eisenhower suffered from a life-long heart condition due to a childhood case of rheumatic fever that left her weakened. To ensure that she could make it through the day, Mamie would spend a good portion of the day in bed, where she met with staff members, wrote correspondence, planned her social agenda, and visited with close friends, all while propped up on pillows. She responded to thousands of letters using this writing desk. 31. Sheraton Chest Even though Mamie had been born to a privileged family, marrying Ike as a young army officer brought many years where the couple had to be frugal about money. Mamie purchased this Sheraton chest of drawers after saving up for it over two years. Many years later as they moved into their Gettysburg farmhouse, it was still a prized possession. It reminded her of the happy years of their youth, but also the hardships they had endured on their road to retirement in Gettysburg. Linen Closet 32. Linen Closet If the master bath and bedroom were not evidence enough, Mamie’s favorite color was pink. During Ike’s military career, the Eisenhowers moved often from post to post, yet pink always found a way into their quarter’s furnishings. Mamie used pink and her other favorite colors time and time again to make each place they lived feel more familiar and like a home. If you look closely, you can see Mamie’s handwriting on the shelves labeling the various linens, telling the maid where to store them. Maid’s Room 33. Photograph of Mamie This photograph was a Christmas gift from Mamie Eisenhower to Rose Woods, the Eisenhowers’ maid who attended to Mamie’s possessions as well as various household chores. Rose, employed by the Eisenhowers until 1962 when she retired, resided in this room. Afterward, this spare bedroom was used as an additional dressing room and where Mamie would often relax while having her hair done. Guest Hallway 34. Guest Hallway Paintings More of General Eisenhower’s paintings are on display in the guest hallway. He was encouraged to begin painting in the late 1940s for relaxation, around the time he quit smoking. He described his paintings, especially the landscapes and still lifes on display here, as “daubs, born of my love of color and in my pleasure in experimenting, nothing else.” Yellow Guest Room 35. Yellow Room The Eisenhowers had frequent overnight guests including their cherished grandchildren. This guest room was referred to as the yellow room due to its décor. The room shared a “Jack and Jill” bathroom with the guest room next door. Red Guest Room 36. Red Room This guest room hosted Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru when he visited the farm in 1956. India's history after World War II had been deeply troubled. In 1947, the British drew an imaginary line through their former colony, creating the Hindu nation of India and the Muslim nation of Pakistan. But this created deep animosity in both Indian Muslims and Pakistani Hindus. When he visited the farm in 1956, Nehru seemed like the only glue holding a tenuous peace together on the subcontinent. Eisenhower later begged Nehru not to resign his post: "it would indeed be a misfortune, perhaps for all of us."
General and 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Adjacent to the Gettysburg battlefield, the farm served the president and first lady as a weekend retreat and as a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a respite from Washington, DC, and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions. This virtual tour allows you to visit the home of the Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower.
24 minutes, 40 seconds
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