Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia, Alabama

| 6/12/2011 11:20:00 PM

Spring Park waterfalls 

Tuscumbia, Alabama, is the birthplace of Helen Keller, who was born in 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller.  The house, built c.1820-1830 by Helen Keller's grandparents David and Mary Fairfax Moore Keller, who were related to Robert E. Lee and a direct descendents of Virginia's early colonial governor, Alexander Spotswood, who built the Governor's Palace at Williamsburg, Virginia. The name of the house, Ivy Green, came from the abundance of English Ivy which once covered the grounds. At 19 months, Helen was sickened with a disease which left her deaf and blind.  At the age of six, the wild child was taken to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, and as a result Anne Sullivan was hired as her teacher. The teacher had her hands full with a child that couldn’t hear or see. The break through came as Ms. Sullivan held Helen’s hands under the water pump and the word water came from her lips. 

the pump where the miracle happened

The story at the water pump was imortalized by playwright William Gibson.  "The Miracle Worker" was made into a movie in 1962 with Patty Duke portraying Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan.

Helen Keller’s home is now preserved as a museum.  Each year in June and going into July, "The Miracle Worker" is presented at the home on Friday and Saturday nights.  The Helen Keller Festival honoring Keller takes place each year at the end of June. This year the festival is at Spring Park in Tuscumbia is from June 23 to June 26.  Family entertainment, consisting of arts and crafts, concerts, bike rides, runs, a street dance, story time, dancing waters and the Miracle Worker play fill the four days of the festival.  Admission to the event is three whole dollars.  So if you can take time to visit for a day or two or three, check out the events going on.  Be sure to bring a lawn chair with you to sit a spell. 

Cooks house at Ivy Green

Helen Keller statue

Mary Carton
6/14/2011 10:13:19 PM

It's still hot here, no rain. Last rain was 3 wks ago and we had a little over an inch in 15-20 min, so it just ran off. My tomatoes are looking great. Will try to remember posting a picture. I've planted cucs twice and they've just burned up after coming up. Will try another planting this weekend. Squash looked pitiful, but are looking better. The neighbors had some nice ones that were broken off by the straight line winds that broke the nearby power pole and tumbled them off, I didn't get me corn planted, haven't been able to find my favorite peaches & cream, plus just got got the spot plowed up before the rain. Dave I feel sorry for the farmers along the Missouri. They thought finally a good year and everything is now soggy. Thanks for checking in,

Nebraska Dave
6/14/2011 9:39:29 AM

Mary, the weather has been flip flopping here too. June has been from record breaking 101 temperatures down to lows of 56 at night and 63 during the days. However I must say that it appears that my garden loves it as it's been growing and blooming like crazy. I noticed the first of the clusters of blooms on my tomato plants yesterday. Two day ago they were just buds but now blooms are breaking out everywhere. It hasn't rained in a while here either. Oh, we have had what I call a couple of nuisance rains that barely cover the bottom of the bean can rain gauge and only cause a spike in the humidity for that day. It's really not a beneficial rain at all.

Nebraska Dave
6/14/2011 9:38:54 AM

It is the time for the festivals to begin. Isn't it? We have many festivals here as well which most are down by the river front. This year I'm not sure what will happen with those festivals as the Missouri river is over flood stage and still rising due to the huge snow melt and spring rains. We have a total of four river dams starting in Montana but the flood gates on all of them are wide open to try to prevent spilling over the dams. As a result many low lying areas that have not flooded since 1952 when this water control was set in place are in jeopardy of flooding. It seems that no part of the country this year is exempt from weather related disaster. The urban ranch is not in danger but the city water and sewer treatment plants are. That could be an ugly situation for a city with a metropolitan population of 500,000. The Corps of Engineers say that the flooding may not go away for most of the summer. Have a great day in the garden.

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