Welcome to Ivy Green, home of Helen Keller.
My grangirl loves history, so she was ecstatic when I told her we were actually going to Ivy Green, Helen Keller's home in Tuscumbia, Alabama!
Inside the home, you will see much as it was when the Kellers lived there. Downstairs, there is the original living room, dining room, and master bedroom. One of the rooms has been converted into a museum, and the back room that leads out to the kitchen (separate building) is where you check in and purchase your tickets.
Here is the infamous dining room where Miss Annie and Helen were locked away for hours...both stong-willed and neither willing to give in. However, it was on this day that Ms. Annie Sullivan won the battle...and Helen eventually ate with her utensils AND folded her napkin! Much of the china didn't fair so well! The silver tea set came over from England, and is around 200 years old.
The master bedroom is at the foot of the stairs, just as you come through the front door, to the right.
Annie and Helen shared an upstairs bedroom. There was also another bedroom that I am assuming James occupied.
During this time, it was common that the kitchen was apart from the house. In the above picture of the kitchen, the right door went to the cook's bedroom and the left door went to the actual kitchen.
There is no way I can include every picture that I took, but the grounds are just gorgeous! Helen had quite a collection of things from all over the world....and you will find them throughout the gardens.
~The Water Pump and Monuments~
There are also many monuments...including that infamous water pump where Helen finally made the connection with words! It was so cool to actually touch it!
This is the cottage that sits on the property just beside the house. In case you don't know the story....Ms. Sullivan felt that she could teach Helen better if she was given full reign with no interaction with Helen's parents. She convinced the Kellers to let her be alone with Helen in the cottage for 2 weeks. Since the cottage was so close to the home, Helen would know where she was. So, the Kellers loaded Helen up for a "long journey" which was basically them riding her around for a long time then coming back to the cottage. Of course, she had no idea her parents would be just next door!
When two weeks was up, Mr. Keller insisted that Annie return to the house with Helen. She reluctantly obeyed, even though Helen really wasn't any further along in her learning. Until, after returning to the house, one day at the water pump where Helen finally made the connection that w-a-t-e-r was the wet stuff coming out of the pump...she had a flashback to before she lost her hearing and sight to when she said "wa-wa" as a baby. It was then that Helen's learning truly began and she went on to do great things and meet many famous people, as well as, graduate college with honors and write several books.
I mentioned earlier in my post that there was a museum in the home now. There are all kinds of wonderful things about Helen's life...such as the key that she used to lock Miss Annie in her room, as well as tons of pictures, books in braille, trinkets, and treasures of her life!
If you are ever in the area, I would strongly suggest taking a day to visit Ivy Green. If you happen to be there in mid June-July, you might want to even catch the outdoor play (behind the property) of The Miracle Worker. And if you are planning a visit, I'd also suggest watching any version of the movie, The Miracle Worker. We watched the version where Patty Duke played Ms. Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert played Helen Keller. Oh, and don't forget the little gift shop at the back of the house!
Until Next Time...
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