|The pump where Helen Keller first learned the word w-a-t-e-r|
"The most beautiful world is always entered through imagination." --Helen Keller
We were on the road the last few days and, oh, the places to which that road took us.
Well, fast forward to the present, quite a number of years later, and we can now report that out of 67 houses featured in the book, we have seen 19. Two of those nineteen we saw this week while on our summer road trip...
Helen Keller house, "Ivy Green," in Tuscumbia, Alabama. It almost gave me goosebumps to actually touch the pump where the breakthrough to words and communication came for the young child struck blind and deaf by illness when she was only 19 months old. Included in the tour is the house where she was born, the cottage where she and Anne Sullivan ("The Miracle Worker") lived while Anne taught and guided her, and a museum room sharing the story of her remarkable and inspiring life.
Andrew Jackson. "The Hermitage" is located outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The tour here took us far longer than we expected. Three-and-a-half hours worth, and if we didn't still have another five-hour drive home from there, we would have stayed longer. Having read The President's Lady, by Irving Stone and A Being So Gentle, the Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson, by Patricia Brady, we've been interested in the subject of Andrew Jackson for a time. Needless to say, the opportunity to visit the Hermitage immersed us in the history of the man, his presidency, his personal life, his contributions, his controversies. Highlights from the brochure give a glimpse into the story: "Life on the Edge," "Connections, Confidence and Cotton," "Contradiction and Conflict," "Politics Not-As-Usual," "A Sense of Style and Destiny." Quite an interesting place in which to get a sense of the early-to-mid-1800s south and its issues.
Little Nicholas' house! We puttered down the highway to visit the grandson (and his mommy and daddy, of course) who has relocated to the States from Spain and now lives only nine hours (by car) from us. It was his house that really was the biggest draw! And the one most difficult to leave when the trip was over.
Road trips and historical homes. Some great stuff. Our album of brochures and photographs continues to grow. Trying to imagine the worlds of people in the past never seems to grow old for me so I can't help but wonder where we will visit next. For sure, I've got plenty of album pages ready and waiting, whichever historical home it might be.
Any noteworthy houses or sites you've traveled to this summer? What historical site is your favorite? Is your imagination stirred when visiting places of the past?
p.s. The nineteen houses we've visited so far include: Helen Keller, Tuscumbia, Alabama; William Randolph Hearst, San Simean, California; John Ringling, Sarasota, Florida; George Rogers Clark, Jefferson County, Kentucky; Paul Revere, Boston, Massachusetts; Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan; Charles Lindbergh, Little Falls, Minnesota; Jefferson Davis, Biloxi, Mississippi; Daniel Boone, Defiance, Missouri; Harry S. Truman, Independence, Missouri; William Jennings Bryan, Lincoln, Nebraska; William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), North Platte, Nebraska; Thomas Wolfe, Ashville, North Carolina; George Washington Vanderbilt (the Biltmore), Ashville, North Carolina; Laura Ingalls Wilder, De Smet, South Dakota; Andrew Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee; Sam Rayburn, Bonham, Texas; Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, Utah; Robert E. Lee (the Arlington House at Arlington National Cemetery), Arlington, Virginia. All-righty, only 48 more to go!