Visitor Guide

Ellen Axson Wilson

ELWilsonEllen Axson Wilson, born in 1860 in Savannah, Ga., grew up in Georgia’s Rome, and went on to become the First Lady of Princeton University, the First Lady of New Jersey, and the First Lady of the United States, as the beloved first wife of 28th U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

An accomplished American Impressionist artist, Ellen is also credited with being the first First Lady to promote the activism role within the duties of the White House’s official hostess. Ellen also designed and established the White House Rose Garden at the executive mansion.

The Ellen Axson Wilson Homecoming of 2014 celebrated 100 years after her death in August 1914. Her bronze memorial dedicated in 2015 commemorates the achievements of this amazing Renaissance woman, who not only touched Rome, but also the world around her.

In 2014, the Rome Area Council of Arts dedicated a public piece of art in her honor, and is located at the Town Green. Learn more.



Click below to view the Ellen Axson Wilson segment on CSPAN’s First Ladies

CSPAN First Ladies- Ellen Wilson still screenshot