Our Visit to the Helen Keller Museum

96 dpi 4x6 Helen Keller 1Louis and I spent three days in Florence, Alabama at the India Mission Workshop. There were approximately 60 present at different sessions of the program. This was a very enjoyable and informative for all. At the end of day three, we packed up and went back to our motel to change and then to go to Red Lobster for supper. Then, it was back to the motel to clean up and get ready for bed. It was much needed sleep, as we both hurt and were very tired.

When we initially arrived at the motel days earlier and while waiting on Louis to park the van, I picked up a brochure on the birthplace of Helen Keller. It is in Tuscumbia, Alabama. I thought this would be an interesting and a different activity for us to do before leaving for Winona. On one occasion, I tried to ask Louis, “How far out of the way was it to go to Tuscumbia when we go home?” I had a rough time saying “Tuscumbia” for some reason; I kept getting tongue-tied.

96 dpi 4x6 Helen Keller 2

Up early, we began packing and getting everything ready for our 11:00 a.m. checkout. We got off our route in Tuscumbia to visit the birthplace and home of Helen Keller. This was such a pleasurable and interesting time. I was amazed at all this one lady accomplished in her lifetime.

The museum is on ten acres of land, though once the estate consisted originally of 640 acres. The house and other buildings on the property were so neat and beautiful. They had walkways all around the property. One could get more information before heading into the main house or after depending whether a visitor went in the front door or backdoor of the house. We walked around the outside first, then entered in the backdoor of the museum.

We were led on a short tour and told of the upstairs. We decided to go upstairs to see the bedrooms and the sewing room. The steps were very steep, as in most old houses.

Some interesting facts include: Helen Keller lost her hearing and sight at the very young age of 19 months. She had a very serious illness that caused these loses. Of course, having such handicaps, she was a very spoiled little girl.

At the age of 6, Miss Keller’s parents contacted Alexander Graham Bell, and he suggested they contact the Perkins Institute for the deaf and blind. The Institute staff suggested that they hire a young woman named Anne Sullivan to help care for Helen and to teach her what she could. Anne Sullivan is known as a “miracle worker” that helped Helen Keller to rise out of total darkness to be such an inspiration that she is to many Americans and throughout the whole world.

96 dpi 4x6 Helen Keller 3There was a small house right next to the main house. Anne asked Helen’s parents to let her take Helen to live next door and to work with her by herself. Helen’s parents agreed, and since the house was only a few yards away from the main house, Helen was placed in the car and driven for hours to make her think that they had gone a long way off. Her parents were amazed at how mush she learned in such a short time with Anne Sullivan.

It was amazing how much this one blind and deaf lady did in her lifetime. By the age of ten, she had learned braille, also the manual alphabet and learned to use a typewriter. When Helen was 16, she could speak well enough to go to a preparatory school and then on to Radcliff College, from which she graduated cum laude in 1906. Helen got the Lions Club (which is an international organization) involved in helping with the blind. She authored twelve books; she became a public speaker; she had spoken in over 25 countries and on five continents, and Helen was an advocate for equality. Miss Keller also met with many presidents. What a full life Helen Keller led. She did not let her handicap hold her back. Just think what we could do if we used our abilities like Helen used her abilities!

I really enjoyed the Helen Keller Museum. I recommend it to anyone who is the area of Tuscumbia, Alabama to visit this national, historic site. It is a wonderful place for learning our national history. Louis and I enjoyed ourselves. We headed to our Winona home with much anticipation of our own bed and rest.

We thank all for the prayers, encouragement and financial support. It is because of you that we can go into foreign countries and spread the Word of God. Glory be to God.

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