The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

June 1, 2006

Ivy Green stands as tribute to Helen Keller's life

How to go



Ivy Green is located two miles from U.S. 72 and 43 in Tuscumbia, Ala.

Hours:

Open 8:30 a.m. –4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed most holidays.

Admission:

$6 for adults

$2 or students ages 5-18

$5 for seniors and AAA members

Group rates available

Contact:

Call (888) 329-2124 for information or visit www.ivygreen.com





Seventeen years before the death in 1968 of Helen Keller, whose accomplishments earned her worldwide fame, the city of Tuscumbia bought the home in which she was born.

Ivy Green, a spacious two-story, seven-room cottage built in 1820 by Keller’s grandparents, is situated on the remaining acreage, which is settled in the midst of a modern residential section of this tiny burg.

Once inside the gates of Ivy Green, visitors are transported to 19th century Alabama. A short drive leads past a manicured lawn dotted with huge magnolias, mimosa trees and tangles of honeysuckle to the unassuming white home.

“Ivy Green is not only a part of Alabama history, it’s important throughout the world,” said site manager Sue Pilkilton, who calls it an honor to have been involved with Ivy Green for 35 years. “Helen Keller was such an ambassador to other countries; it’s an international attraction that Alabama is very proud of.”

Pilkilton said despite being “a hidden treasure up here in the northwest corner of the state,” people from many countries seek it out, including those from Japan, New Zealand, China, England, China, Germany, France and more. The most foreign visitors are from Japan, she said.

The attraction for most is the pump where Helen Keller learned to relate objects and words.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what country, the pump is the most important thing we have on the grounds,” Pilkilton said. “Everyone relates to the miracle at the pump.”

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