Crews remove oak tree Helen Keller climbed as a girl

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beloved oak tree at Helen Keller’s childhood home in Alabama cut down.

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — Workers at the birthplace of Helen Keller had to cut down a more than 200-year-old oak tree that the famed activist and writer climbed as a girl. Helen Keller’s beloved water oak tree — made famous by the tale in her autobiography in which she had to be rescued from its branches during a storm — has been cut down after standing for over two centuries.

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs officials say the vehicle will travel throughout the state offering on-site help to people who have been laid off or lost jobs because of business closures. Executive director Sue Pilkilton told the TimesDaily ( ) in a story published Tuesday that the tree was damaged by a tornado in July. The storm that took down part of the tree in July carried with it a category EF1 tornado, and it wasn’t the first EF1 to rock the tree, says Pilkilton.

Keller lost her sight and hearing to illness as a 19-month-old child but triumphed over her disabilities to become a role model and advocate for others with similar limitations. The relationship between Sullivan and Keller, who wrote more than a dozen books beginning in 1902 when she was still a student at Radcfliffe College in Boston, was the subject of the 1962 movie “The Miracle Worker.” She says officials and schools in the community were behind the event once the court agreed to travel to Huntsville. “We are having twelve hundred high school government students come and hear the oral argument, so we wanted to make sure that was something the school systems were interested in and would support, and they have.” Heath says she hopes the hearing will educate students about how the appellate system works. As of yet, Weaver says that no decision has been made as to what will happen to Helen Keller’s tree, but the wood was not mulched after it was cut down.

APR student reporter Taylor Swinney reports how the landscape has changed… The tree which has been subject to severe damage over the last few years from tornadoes and bug infestation became a hazard to guests at the museum.

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