Monday, June 10, 2013

Helen Keller's Home

Last week, a friend and I drove over to Tuscumbia, Alabama to visit the home of Helen Keller.  Helen was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880 to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller.  At 19 months of age she was stricken with a severe illness which left her blind and deaf.
Helen's home, called Ivy Green, was built in 1820 by her grandparents.  It survived untouched through the ravages of the Civil War and, since 1954, has been a permanent shrine to the "miracle" that occurred in a blind and deaf, seven-year-old girl's life.
Unfortunately, the day we arrived, the museum was having a press conference so we didn't get a proper tour.  However, we were allowed to take pictures inside the house!
To the right, inside the front door, is the bedroom that belonged to Helen's parents.
The "crazy" quilt on the bed was made by Helen's aunt and the clothing in the wardrobe is Helen's.
To the left, inside the front door is the parlor.
The home is decorated with much of the original furniture of the Keller family and by hundreds of Helen's personal mementos, books and gifts from her lifetime of travel.
The living room is connected to the dining room where the half-wild, deaf and blind girl would steal food off every one's plate.
At the age of six, Helen was taken by her parents to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.  Because of this visit, Helen was united with her teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan.  Helen and Anne shared this bedroom upstairs.
Thanks to "Teacher," by the age of 10, Helen had mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and learned to use the typewriter.  By the time she was 16, Helen could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and college.
Her two half-brothers shared a room across the hall.
Helen's early learning took place in the cottage where she was born, situated just east of the main house.
This picture of Helen was taken in 1904 after she graduated 'cum laude' from Radcliffe College.  Teacher stayed with her through those years, interpreting lectures and class discussions to her.  Helen Keller became one of history's remarkable women and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, is remembered as "the Miracle Worker" for her lifetime dedication, patience and love to a half-wild, southern child trapped in a world of darkness.


  1. Hi Candy! Oh, I didn't realize Helen Keller was from Alabama! I was born in Fort Payne. Quite a lovely home too. Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  2. Good tour. we have seen the signs for the house but have yet to visit.

  3. Taking this tour was informative and I sure enjoyed stopping by to see this.
    The house looks bigger on the inside than out. Neat to see.
    What a beautiful house.

  4. Lovely tour, thank you ma'am. (Dibs on the settee in the corner of the parlor!)

  5. Intriguing tour of this wonderful lady's childhood home.