If you’ve never been to Ivy Green in Tuscumbia it’s time to head to do it. It’s a pretty drive from Birmingham and takes about 2 hours. The birthplace of Helen Keller is quaint, unassuming but informative.
What to expect:
You will walk on the same hardwood floors Helen did as you tour the home. You’ll see the cradle she turned over that held her baby sister.
You’ll see the dresses she wore, dishes she broke and a closet she locked her mother in for 3 hours.
You’ll see the most famous icon at the landmark – the water pump. It’s where it all clicked. It’s where Ann Sullivan unlocked the world for Helen. Anne’s repetition of symbols in Helen’s tiny 6-year-old hand finally meant something W-A-T-E-R.
As a child I did a history project about Helen’s life. Although I won awards for that project, understanding how her life truly was a miracle and the impact she had on others was lost on me until I took my children to see her birthplace.
1. The tour is informative and informal. The tour guides allow you to photograph, ask questions and explore the grounds on your own.
2. They made the tour kid friendly for my 6, 4 and 3 year old children. They answered their questions perfectly.
3. Pick up the brochure of the grounds as you do a self tour. It’s important to understanding why there are so many little buildings near the home.
4. There’s a gift shop and they do accept cash, check and credit card.
5. There’s a park a few blocks down from the house called Spring Park. There are picnic tables, a playground and some rides (there’s a cost for those).
6. The Alabama Music Hall of Fame is nearby as well if you make a day of it. Then you can drive over to Florence to eat and drive across Wilson Dam — there’s a visitor center and museum there as well.
7. There’s a Helen Keller Festival in June. Go here to learn more.
8. Go here for kids games and interactive info to prepare your kids for the visit.
Admission and hours:
Last tour starts at 3:45 p.m. daily
Students ages 5 -18 $3
Seniors & “AAA” members $5
Military (Active and Retired) $5
300 North Commons Street West Tuscumbia, AL 35674
Tour guide explains how a braille alarm clark works: