Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 332

Chapter 21—Sunnyside—Ellen White's Farm

From the very first, as plans began to develop for use of the 1,450 acres (587 hectares) of the Brettville estate, it was calculated that some of the land would be sold to Adventist families. By July 1895 there was talk of some 120 acres (49 hectares) being used in this way. On Sunday morning, July 7, Ellen White negotiated for the first of such land to be cut off from the estate, 40 acres (16 hectares) on the north side of the tract. For this she paid $1,350. “The reason I purchase now,” she wrote, “is that I may furnish money which they [those connected with the school] need so much just now” (Manuscript 61, 1895).

She planned to leave some of the land as woodland, use some for grazing, and some for orchard and garden. Of course, a choice spot would be selected for the homesite (Letter 88a, 1895).

For some time she had felt that she should have her home in a location more conducive to her writing than the large rented house at Granville. There it seemed inevitable that she must run what seemed to be a “free hotel,” with people coming and going almost every day. Now she determined to build a little cottage where such demands could not be made upon her. She also determined to develop a portion of her land in such a way as to provide an object lesson of what could be done in agricultural lines in that area. It was mid-July, and on inquiry she learned that whatever was to be done in planting an orchard must be accomplished in the next few weeks.

As the 40 acres (16 hectares) came into her possession, the first step in developing her little farm was clearing land for the orchard. Soon three good-sized tents were pitched on her property. She and her granddaughter Ella lived in one, and also, much of the time, one of her woman helpers. Another of the tents was used for cooking and dining, and the third was occupied by some of the men (8 WCW, p. 31) clearing land and planting trees. As construction of her little home progressed, Ellen White stood by to run errands for the workmen to save their time. She also did a little writing.

Starting almost from scratch, in early August the men made considerable progress on “the farm,” and the foundation was in for the house (Letter 156, 1896). Her August 28 description of the little camp at Sunnyside is revealing:

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