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Ivy Green - Birthplace of Helen Keller
300 West North Commons
Tuscumbia, AL 35674


Submitter: AirForceVet [Profile]
Category: Family
Website: Go
Price: $
Internet: No
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2010
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About Ivy Green - Birthplace of Helen Keller:
Located on a 640-acre tract in historic Tuscumbia, Ivy Green was built in 1820 by David and Mary Fairfax Moore Keller, grandparents of Helen Keller.

Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller. At the tender age of 19 months, she was stricken with a severe illness which left her blind and deaf. At the age of six, the half-wild, deaf and blind girl was taken by her parents to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell. Because of her visit, Helen was united with her teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan on March 3, 1887.

At a plain, black well-pump behind the Keller home, one of the world's great miracles took place. Standing at the totally blind and deaf Helen's side, Anne Sullivan steadily pumped cool water into one of the girl's hands while repeatedly tapping out an alphabet code of five letters in the other-first slowly, then rapidly. The scene was repeated again and again as young Helen painstakingly struggled to break her world of silence.

Suddenly the signals crossed Helen's consciousness with a meaning. She knew that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the cool something flowing over her hand. Darkness began to melt from her mind like so much ice left out on the sunny March day. By nightfall, Helen had learned 30 words.

The home and museum room are decorated with much of the original furniture of the Keller family. Each is highlighted by hundreds of Miss Keller's personal mementos, books and gifts from here lifetime of travel and lectures in 25 countries for the betterment of the world's blind and deaf-blind. Of particular note is her complete library of Braille books and her original Braille typewriter.

"The Miracle Worker" is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green each year on weekends from early June through mid July. Celebrating over 30 years of outdoor performances at the birthplace of "America's First Lady of Courage," the play carries the audience into the daily disappointments and then the miraculous" breakthrough of the young Helen Keller at the guidance of her teacher Anne Sullivan, "The Miracle Worker", with authentic costumes and sets, and professional acting.

Likewise, the town of Tuscumbia hold its annual Helen Keller Festival for one week in June. The celebration includes a parade through downtown, stage entertainment, arts and crafts, an art auction, tour of historic sites, puppet shows, a variety of sports tournaments and athletics events and more

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