Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ivy Green

If you are a fan of Helen Keller, you will know that Ivy Green is her birthplace in Tuscumbia, Alabama.  I have always been amazed by the brilliance of this Alabama native who overcame her handicaps with the help of "Teacher" Annie Sullivan. Helen Keller was born into a very wealthy and respected family...her charmed life came to an end when she came down with a fever that left her blind and deaf at nineteen months old. Her family soon despaired of ever helping their daughter. Captain Keller found out about a school for the blind, Perkins Institute. Annie Sullivan was a young graduate and while not blind, she did have vision problems. She was willing to take on Helen as a student. Captain Keller paid Miss Sullivan $25 a month along with room and board. At that time, it was a generous salary. However when Annie arrived in Alabama, she came to see that she would earn every penny! At the beginning of her stay in Alabama she shared a room with Helen in the main house.

It was a very rainy day on Saturday so we did not get to enjoy the grounds of Ivy Green. The house was built in 1820 by Helen's grandfather. At that time the house was the centerpiece of a 600 acre plantation.  It is a lovely home built in the Virginia Tidewater style.

Thanks to my cousin, Scott, for his photograph of this sweet statue found in the museum room inside Ivy Green.

Helen Keller was a lovely lady who traveled the world encouraging those who had vision problems.

Some of the original Keller dresses are found at Ivy Green.

Here is the Dining Room with what is left of the Keller China!! Apparently Helen destroyed a good deal of their dinnerware.

Here is the "Little House". Teacher knew that she would make no head way with Helen in the main house as her family indulged Helen's whims and tantrums.  While living in the little house, teacher began to tame this wild child.  And that is  Marvin and Amelia standing on the porch!! Neither had visited Ivy Green before so they found it very interesting.

Helen's bedroom in the Little House. I love the old toys.

Another picture from the Little House...see me in the mirror???:)

The pump where Helen had her break through.  The docent at the museum says that doctors felt that Helen's verbalization WaWa was from a memory of water before her fever.  But this event did open the doors to communication for Helen.

Me and my cousin, Holly. She and her husband, Scott, brought their children from Georgia to visit the iconic Ivy Green. Holly was the flower girl at my wedding. She turned four years old on September 4th , 1976, our wedding day.

My husband showing everyone how big this old oak tree really is! There were several very old trees on the grounds.

Scott took our picture on the front steps. On leaving Ivy Green we had a nice warm Italian lunch at Ricatoni's in Florence, Alabama. After a damp morning we were glad to sit down and warm up!! If you are ever in Northwest Alabama, take time to visit Ivy Green to learn more about one of Alabama's most famous citizens.


Terri D said...

How interesting!! I know the story, and have seen the movie, but was not aware that this lovely site is open to the public. A wonderful visit for all of you! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I would love to visit here. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Arlene Grimm said...

If you two come and visit Ivy Green, you had better give me a head's up so I can meet you there!! It is a very interesting place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Arlene, I've never heard of Ivy Green. What an interesting place to visit. I love looking at all the old fashioned furniture, clothing, & toys.

Connie Hamilton said...

I enjoy your post very much. I am going to see "The Miracle Worker" next weekend.