What kind of house did Helen Keller live in during her childhood?

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Although Helen Keller came from a prominent and well-to-do family with the resources to hire a private tutor for her, she began life in a small, idyllic cottage on her family's estate. An illustration from her memoir shows the main house, called Ivy Green, where she would later move, a...

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Although Helen Keller came from a prominent and well-to-do family with the resources to hire a private tutor for her, she began life in a small, idyllic cottage on her family's estate. An illustration from her memoir shows the main house, called Ivy Green, where she would later move, a one-level frame structure with two shuttered windows on each side of a front door. A shading vine grows around the small front porch or portico. Next to this house, just discernible to the right of it, is the small cottage.

The cottage consisted of a large room for the family to live in and a small one for a servant. What Keller most remembered and loved about this romantic cottage was the abundant natural world close at hand. She describes the cottage setting as follows:

It was completely covered with vines, climbing roses and honeysuckles. From the garden it looked like an arbour. The little porch was hidden from view by a screen of yellow roses and Southern smilax. It was the favourite haunt of humming-birds and bees.

Keller's love of nature was encouraged by this rich natural environment. It must have felt like like living in nature to live in such a home.

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When Helen Keller was very young, before she suffered from the illness that deprived her of her sight and hearing, she lived in a very small vine-covered house with one small room and one large room (see the source below). The smaller room was intended for servants. The porch was covered with a tangle of yellow roses and other flowers. Her father had built the house after the Civil War to live there with Helen Keller's mother. The little house was near the household of the Keller family, referred to as "Ivy Green." The Keller family household, covered with English ivy, was more substantial than the small house next door where Helen originally lived with her parents. In her autobiography, Helen Keller writes with great fondness about exploring Ivy Green's gardens, which include lilies, clematis, jessamine, and other flowers that she locates by smell and touch. When Helen Keller was five, she moved from her small house to a new, larger one.

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