300 North Commons Street West
Tuscumbia, Alabama 35674
A Place for Miracles
Ivy Green, a simple white clapboard house built in 1820, would likely not be notable were it not the birthplace and childhood home of Helen Keller. Keller, who was born in 1880, became a world-famous social activist and champion for educating the blind and deaf. After an early childhood illness left her deaf, she learned to communicate thanks to the efforts of teacher Anne Sullivan. After that, she didn’t stop. She studied at Radcliffe College and became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She proceeded to write books and give speeches around the world.
There are three important structures on the Ivy Green property. The main house contains personal items from Keller’s life, including books, gifts, and mementos from her travels. The cottage, located to the right of the main house, was Keller’s actual birthplace. Finally, the outdoor water pump where the blind and deaf Keller first communicated with Sullivan (aka The Miracle Worker) in 1887. During summer weekends, a production of “The Miracle Worker” is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green. Those grounds are lush, landscaped with English boxwoods, ivy, magnolia bushes, and a variety of vibrant flowers.