As we continued south in Alabama, we saw several signs advertising the home of Helen Keller. We did not have this on our agenda and at first, we were going to keep moving. As we traveled thru Tuscumbia, Al, there was a sign indicating a right turn to Helen Keller’s home. We turned and found the home on a quiet side street in a very pleasant setting. It was a good decision. We enjoyed a personal tour of the home with a history of the artifacts of her life and family.
In her early years, Helen’s grandparents lived in the main house, Ivy Green. Her parents and Helen lived in the cottage a few feet away.
Helen Keller was born in 1880 and was a bright and healthy girl until she fell ill when she was two years of age and became both deaf and blind. She became a wild child with many tales of her antics. After searching for ways to help their child, the parents eventually hired Ann Sullivan as her teacher. The now famous breakthrough in Helen’s understanding of her world occurred in 1887 when she understood the motions that her teacher was making in Helen’s palm was the word for water she felt running into her hand from the hand pump. After this realization, she made rapid progress. She would go on to become a world-famous author, lecturer and activist.
Sullivan would remain with her for 49 years.
Hers is truly a story of amazing courage in overcoming her handicaps and rising to international fame. It all started at Ivy Green homestead, where she was born.