Hellen Keller W-A-T-E-R
I want to thank Sue, the director, for allowing me to place this box on the grounds.
Please take a moment to tour the grounds. It's amazing to see all the history behind Ivy Green. The hours are limited and the fee is minimal - well worth it I might add.
In 1954, through the efforts of the Helen Keller Property Board of Tuscumbia and the State of Alabama, Ivy Green was made a permanent shrine and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ivy Green is located two miles off Hwys. 72 and 43 in Colbert County, Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Last Tour starts at 3:45 p.m. daily
Closed most holidays
Adults . . . $6.00
Students ages 5 - 18 . . . $2.00
Seniors & "AAA" member's. . . $5.00
Group of 20 or more . . .Adults $5 & Children $1.50 (Group reservations requested)
Dates, times and prices are subject to change
300 West North Commons
Tuscumbia, Alabama 35674
The text below is from the web site.
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's birthplace cottage is situated east of the main house and consists of a large room with a lovely bay window and playroom. Originally, the small "annex" was an office for keeping the plantation's books.
When Captain Arthur H. Keller brought his bride, Kate Adams (the bride of his second marriage), home to Ivy Green the office was daintily re-furnished and fitted for them as a bridal suite. Later, the cottage would serve as living quarters for Helen and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
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 entire estate is nestled under a cooling canopy of English boxwoods (over 150 years old), magnolia, mimosa, and other trees, accented by roses, honeysuckle, smilax, and an abundance of English Ivy (for which the estate receives its name).
At a plain, black well-pump in the small southern town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, one of the world's great miracles took place. It began one bright, spring day in 1887. Puffy white clouds floated overhead on a background of blue, while birds fluttered through oaks and maples and flowers burst forth from the fertile soil in an array of colors—all unheard and unseen by a pretty girl of seven.
Standing at the totally blind and deaf Helen Keller's side was a young woman, Anne Sullivan. Miss Sullivan was steadily pumping 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.
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. 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 age 10, Helen had mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and even learned to use the typewriter. 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 teacher stayed with her through those years, interpreting lectures and class discussions to her.
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.
Her teacher, Anne Sullivan is remembered as "the Miracle Worker" for her lifetime dedication, patience and love to a half-wild southern child trapped in a world of darkness.
Hellen Keller Festival:
Thousands of visitors gather in Tuscumbia each June for the annual Helen Keller Festival, a week-long event first held in 1979 to commemorate the lifetime accomplishments of the town's most renowned native, Helen Keller. 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. The event also marks the beginning of the annual outdoor performances of William Gibson's play "the Miracle Worker" on the grounds of Ivy Green. The Helen Keller Festival has been named as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association (ABA) and as one of the Top 20 June Events in the Southeast by the Atlanta-based Southeast Tourism Society.
Directions to box:
Pull into the parking lot of Ivy Green. Park in the NW quadrant of the parking lot. The main house is straight ahead as you pull in. Locate the fountains & the monument to the left. During the winter months the fountains may be turned on. There is a tall brick wall behind the fountains. "Hellen Keller W-A-T-E-R" will be located at the base of the tall bush on the left side of the brick wall. When I planted the box; there were three stalks growing from the ground. Count over to the third stalk. The box is tiny so be prepared to look hard. I was told by the grounds keeper that in the Spring they will be replanting these bushes & other plants, but will replace the letterbox in the same location once done.
When logging this box, please take the box to your car, log, and then rehide. Do not log at the fountain/monument site.
Everyone who works at the museum is aware this box is planted so please hunt & log with stealth. There will be other visitors. Also let them know that LETTERBOXING is what brought you to the Hellen Keller Museum.