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As anyone familiar with children’s literature knows, Eloise is a 6-year-old girl who lives in a room on the tippy-top floor of the Plaza Hotel in New York. She has the run of the place, skating down halls and writing on walls and charging her meals to Room Service.
About 10 years after the popular series hit bookstores, a 5-year-old girl named Allison Hoadley moved into the Sheraton-Ritz Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. She also had the run of the place, skating down halls and writing on walls (a blackboard, actually) and sampling baked goods in the hotel kitchen. Unlike Eloise’s largely absent parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hoadley appear to have kept close track of Allison’s activities. Mr. Hoadley, the hotel’s general manager, took time each day to read to Allison in his office, and Mrs. Hoadley made sure Allison was dressed Just Like Eloise when a photographer for the Minneapolis Tribune shot this photo spread for the Sunday Picture magazine.
|The 17-story Sheraton-Ritz, shown here in 1975, was demolished in 1990. (mnhs.org)|
|Allison steers her bike with learner wheels around the ballroom with the ease of an expert despite the obstacles. [The captions on these Earl Seubert photos are the originals]
|“Mmmm. Good,” Allison tells hotel baker Donovan Nolte after sampling the breakfast rolls.
|She writes numbers and boy friend’s name (Batman) on the laundry room blackboard for Shirley Ellgren.
|“You make it like this,” Allison instructs the maid, Anna Grimm, as she helps her with the morning chore.
|Mother assists as Allison prepares to speed down the hall on her way to the hotel plaza to roller-skate.
|Dad takes time out for a little storytelling in his office. Allison and sister, Caroline, bring “Uncle Remus” for this daily ritual.