There are so many interesting and important landmarks around the country that were inspired by and/or dedicated to famed female legends. I thought I would share three of my favorites today…
Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller
300 West North Commons St. W, Tuscumbia, Alabama
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. The old “whistle path” leads 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. Also, visit the Carriage House and gift shop.
Helen Keller’s birthplace cottage is situated east of the main house. It 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.
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.
The spot where Rosa Parks made history
251 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, Alabama
On December 1, 1955, 43-year-old Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus. She had just finished work as a tailor’s assistant at the Montgomery Fair department store. As black patrons were then required to do, she paid her fare at the front and then re-boarded in the rear of the bus. As the bus became full, the driver ordered Parks to give up her seat to a white man who had boarded. Parks refused several times, which prompted the driver to call the police, who then arrested Parks.
This event sparked the bus boycott in Montgomery, which eventually led to the desegregation of buses throughout the United States. In addition, Parks became a recognized figure in the Civil Rights Movement. At the arrest site today, where there used to be just a plaque, there is now the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, built for the woman who was arrested for her courageous stand against bigoted behavior. It’s part of the revitalization of downtown Montgomery. It even includes a replica of a bus similar to the one Rosa Parks was sitting in on that historic day.
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
History says that Betsy Ross made the first American flag after a visit in June 1776 by George Washington, Robert Morris, and her husband’s uncle, George Ross. Supposedly, she demonstrated how to cut a 5-pointed star with a single clip of the scissors, if the fabric were folded correctly. However, this story was not told until 1870 by Betsy’s grandson, and many scholars believe that while Betsy probably didn’t make the first flag, she was indeed a professional flagmaker. Her house, now a museum, remains one of Philadelphia’s most visited landmarks.
Chris Epting is an author, award-winning journalist/photographer and dedicated road tripper. His best-selling books including James Dean Died Here (the locations of America’s pop culture landmarks), Roadside Baseball, and The Birthplace Book, along with many others that remain popular with many travelers and RVers throughout the country and world. He is excited to be contributing to RVTravel.com and looks forward to helping to lead you places you may not have discovered otherwise. You may learn more about Chris at his author’s site, www.chrisepting.com.