Smythe Family On The Road travel blog

The right side of the living room in the Keller home.

The left side of the Keller home living room. The original desk...

Photograph taken in the home of Guido Lueddemann, Tuscumbia, AL in 1887....

Helen Keller during her Vaudeville years. Helen and Annie performed in Vaudeville...

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,...

The left side of the dining room. The tea set is the...

The right side of the dining room.

Annie signing into Helen's hand while she reads to her.

Several pictures of Helen as she was growing up.

The entrance to The Clearing.

Jonathan poses in the gazebo.

Jonathan and Deb dancing in the gazebo out in The Clearing. There...

The log home on the property was at the back of The...

The living room of the cabin.

Jonathan stands on the walk with the rest of The Clearing in...

This is the building that houses many of the awards and gifts...

Coon Dog hunting is big down here. There are competitions and people...

This was one of the headstones at the Coon Dog Cemetary.

Easy Going Sam's collar sits around the top of the cross. You...

Another headstone.


Monday, March 3, 2008.

Allegro Campground, Red Bay, AL

Helen Keller's Birthplace

We were up and at it early again this morning. We were going back into the repair bay so we needed to be ready to pull in at 7:00 AM. We got up around 6:15, got dressed and pulled the slides in. We were pulling up to the door of Bay 15 at 7:55. Tom planned on working in the RV again all day since that worked out so well on Friday.

Jonathan and I went to Tuscumbia, AL to see Helen Keller's birthplace today. We knew it was going to be about a 45 minute drive so he brought his reading, math and other subjects that he could do while we were on the road.

When we arrived at Helen Keller's home, a woman greeted us at the door. She collected our tour fee then began giving us a tour around the house and sharing the history of various things on display. We looked at pictures, the rooms filled with furniture and other antique items the family owned. Once we had finished the tour of the house, we walked outside to the cottage, the water pump where Helen learned her first word, the kitchen and all around the grounds.

There was a special building that had been built to shelter the various awards and gifts Helen Keller had received over her lifetime. We stopped back into the house to buy a book about her life and ask a few questions then headed out. Jonathan had done such a nice job, I decided to take him to the local Children's Museum.

We put the Museum address into the GPS and headed out. When we arrived, we found out that the museum was closed for renovations. We were disappointed but right next door was a huge park. The park had playgrounds and more walking paths than any park I had seen before. Jonathan asked if he could ride his scooter on the paths so we checked into that. They said it was okay so he was excited. He would ride out in front of me a ways then come back. We walked and rode all over the park. There were signs posted with information about plants, animals and birds all along the way. We got a good workout. The weather felt like it was going to rain soon so we went back to the car, picked up a book and read for a while. We headed home around 4:30.

We headed back in the same direction we came from. Jonathan had asked if we could stop at the Coon Dog Cemetary. Our mechanic had told us about it and said there were only four of them in the country and they were all in Alabama. We took the turn and checked it out. It was amazing to see how many of them were buried there. Only coon dogs were allowed to be buried here too. I guess people pay quite a bit for them and then enter in hunting competitions and earn a lot of money. They are actually a means of income for some people.

When we headed out, the GPS told me to turn left so I did. It took us up through what seemed like a logging area. It took us down a road that would have kept going if the farm gates hadn't been closed across it. Needless to say, it was a round about trip home but we made it.



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