Rest Haven - Atlas Obscura

Rest Haven

Famed activist Hellen Keller was involved in the operation and administration of this vacation home for blind women starting in the early 20th century. 


Built in 1902, this suburban property in the Hudson Valley was purchased in 1923 by M.C. Migel, founder and president of the American Foundation for the Blind. He conveyed the property to Rest Haven, Inc. and renovated the interior to support the hosting of blind women for two-week vacations.

In 1944, Rest Haven, Inc. returned the title property to the American Foundation for the Blind. Helen Keller, the famed deaf and blind writer, activist, and lecturer was a member trustee for the American Foundation for the Blind, and she was actively involved in the operation of Rest Haven from 1933 until her death in 1968. 

Rest Haven has had several owners since then, including a local chapter of the Arc, an organization dedicated to supporting people with intellectual and physical disabilities. In 2016, Rest Haven was purchased by HRR Corporation. They set about renovating the property, and when they learned about its connection to Helen Keller they wanted to honor the historical connection. Preservation efforts have focused on restoring the original adult home residence and preserving its legacy.

As of 2019, Rest Haven has operated as an adult care facility.

Know Before You Go

Rest Haven is listed on both the New York State and National Register of Historic Places. Rest Haven was designated a historic site on March 23, 2017.

Rest Haven was opened to the public to promote awareness of the facility and Ms. Keller's contributions to the village of Monroe, New York this same year.

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