Saturday, July 23, 2011


Saturday July 23 – YES, we are still in Red Bay. BUT…we were told last evening that we are going in Bay #17 on Monday morning at 7….YIPEEEEE! They will do the rails on Monday and then paint on Wednesday…at least that is how it is suppose to work. If all goes according to our plan, we will leave for Ohio Thursday morning. 

We visited Ivy Green, birthplace of Helen Keller, June 27, 1860, in her hometown of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ivy Green was built in 1820 by grandparents of Helen Keller. It was the second house erected in Tuscumbia.


Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller of Tuscumbia. 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.

Picture below taken from official website.

The main house is of Virginia-cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall. Each room has an individual fireplace.

Master Bedroom…The clothing in the wardrobe are Helen's and her mother's, Kate. 19-helen-dresses

If you have ever watched the movie, "The Miracle Worker", you will recall the scenes of Helen eating off of everyone's plates at meal time. Helen broke all but two original pieces of china.

Upstairs housed the boy's room, Helen and Annie Sullivan's room and a trunk room.

The famous well pump is located between the main house and the birthplace cottage, which is situated just east of the main house. At this well, Annie revealed the mystery of language to seven-year-old Helen, by spelling the word w-a-t-e-r into one hand and letting the water flow over the other hand. As the brochure reads…Darkness began to melt from her mind like ice left out on that sunny March day. By nightfall, Helen had learned 30 words. This is just amazing to us!


The bedroom of Helen and Annie in the cottage.

Her playroom and classroom.

After Helen's miraculous break-through at the simple well-pump, she proved so gifted that she soon learned the fingertip alphabet and shortly afterward to write. By the end of August, in six short months, she knew 625 words. By the time she was 16, Helen could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and to college. In 1904 she was graduated "cum laude" from Radcliffe College.

The home contains hundreds of mementos of Miss Keller's life including her library of Braille books and old Braille typewriter.

Helen placed a ruler on the page as a guide and drew very square block letters.

Sample of her writing just one year after she learned to communicate by signing the manual alphabet.

The grounds were lovely. The buildings are surrounded by English boxwood, over 150 years old.  Here is a small taste of the beautiful flowers in bloom. Marsha was in heaven!
Helen Keller

Upon Helen's death, hundreds of countries sent items in Helen's memory to be included in the garden. Here is one example from Japan.

Helen Keller, the little girl, became one of history's remarkable women. She dedicated her life to improving the conditions of blind and the deaf-blind around the world, lecturing in more than 25 countries on the five major continents. Wherever she appeared, she brought new courage to millions of blind people.

A SIDE NOTE: In the back gardens, stands the "Moon Tree." The "Moon Tree" was grown from seed that journeyed to the moon and back aboard Apollo 14 during the period of January 1-February 9, 1971. It was presented to "The Cleaning" at Ivy green in October, 1976. The "Moon Tree" is a loblolly pine. OH NO…it is that word again…PINE…as in PINE NEEDLES!


While Paul was off some where far away, Marsha had an idea. She went into the Museum told the ladies about her pine needle basket and asked if she could collect some the of the needles. The ladies enjoyed her story and gave her a bag for her collection. When she got to the car, she explained her idea to Paul. Paul was shocked that she could come up with such a cool, Marsha's words not Paul's, idea. "What is this ingenious idea," you ask. Marsha is going to spray paint the needles a metallic gold and weave one needle in each of her baskets. She then will print a little card explaining why the needle is included in the basket. She says, her family member and friends will now have a memento of something that went to the moon! Again, the littlest things make her so happy.

According to Marsha, this Museum is one of her highlights of our travel. We do agree, it is a place to put on your bucket list.  We are Blessed to have our sight and hearing and cannot come close to accomplishing what this amazing woman did!

As we drove back to the Tiffin Campground, this is what the sky looked like…YIKES!drive-home-sky_cornith

Back at the motorhome, our sky looked like this….but no rain the entire night.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!