The White House Tennessee Darling

Presidents’ Memorabilia Collection

Visitors to the Pigeon Forge Public Library will see items from inside the United States White House.  On exhibit are many pieces ranging from President Eisenhower’s fishing pole to a chocolate mug used by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Mr. Eli Ciarrochi and his late wife Mable Elizabeth “Liz” Walker Ciarrochi generously donated these historically significant items.  The display is in East Tennessee to bring a piece of the nation’s history to people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to view these treasures.

Mrs. Ciarrochi was awarded with many gifts of appreciation during her years of employment as Executive Housekeeper for Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.  Her relationship with the Truman and Eisenhower families was more than employer/employee.  She was a confidante and a friend.  Her staff loved her.

“Liz” spent approximately 21 years in government service in Washington, D.C.  Her journey through this life that was touched by Presidents and foreign dignitaries began one early spring morning in 1943.  She left her home in the Inskip community outside of Knoxville, Tennessee for a brief visit with friends.  The visit whet her appetite for a more exciting life, and she soon moved to the D.C. area where one position led to another until she was serving as Executive Housekeeper during the President Truman administration. 

Mrs. Ciarrochi returned to East Tennessee in the 1960’s, bringing with her many memories and memorabilia significant to our nation’s history.  She and husband Eli retired to a mountaintop home near our own Great Smoky Mountains.

It was her request that the White House memorabilia be displayed for others to enjoy.  She asked that it be used for the solicitation of scholarship funds for young people who have dreams of traveling an exciting road to places they cannot imagine.  This was important to Mrs. Ciarrochi, because she followed her dream, and it led her to the White House Mansion.

The ‘Tennessee Darling’ title, for which this display is named, was a nickname for Liz among her domestic and White House Mansion staffs.  She was trusted and well liked by those all around her from Presidents to England’s royal staff to the maids and chauffeurs. 

Included in the “Tennessee Darling” collection are many personal letters from First Lady Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, a rocking chair made especially for President Kennedy, and fourteen miniature carved angels, ‘The Angel Band’, given by First Lady Mrs. Bess Truman.  There is an original painting by President Eisenhower and toys from the childhood years of the Kennedy children and the Eisenhower grandchildren.  Autographed photographs depict the history of our nation’s earlier years.

The Pigeon Forge Public Library is happy to share these historic treasures with its visitors.