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. Click here to view a map of the grounds.
The old “whistle path” carries the visitor to the outdoor kitchen from the main home. Sprinkled around the estate are the Lion’s Club’s International Memorial Fountain, the “Clearing” and herb gardens, the Carriage House and Gift Shop.
Helen Keller’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).