ELEANOR TACQUARD OTTO
A recent visitor to our campus was Frederic Tacquard's lovely daughter who is now 93 years of age. Ms. Eleanor Tacquard Otto was escorted by her daughters, Margaret and Janie. Frederic Tacquard, their grandfather, was a principal at the school in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Until now there has been some contention over the rumor that Helen Keller had actually visited our campus in the earlier part of the 20th century, but there has been no written proof of such a visit, at least not in the writings found on campus. Eleanor proved that Keller had spoken on TSBVI’s campus in either the year 1941 or 1942.
Ms. Otto told us that Helen Keller spoke almost in a monotone – which is something the movies about Helen Keller don’t show. Ms. Otto has convinced us. Helen Keller really did visit the campus.
Eleanor said her father taught Spanish and Weaving even though he was the Principal! He also drove the bus to the train station to pick up students.
Ms. Otto said there were cornfields behind the superintendent’s house and that the land behind the school was farm land. Back then, the principal lived at the school as did the house parents, the accountant and the electrician.
From Ms. Otto:
" Miss Lula Parker was librarian back in the 1930s and 1940s. I seem to remember that when you walked into the library (on the east end of the first floor of the Old Main Building), the first thing you saw above Miss Parker's desk was this large statue that we called "Winged Victory". I think it depicted a headless woman with outstretched wings on either side of her torso. I can't remember what color it was, but it was sort of intimidating to young people, even to me. My daughter Janie Otto Garrett, who visited her grandfather Frederic Tacquard on the campus when she was very young said it terrified her."