Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 371

Chapter 25—Elmshaven, A Haven For Ellen White

On arriving in California, Ellen White was eager to get to work. She hoped that she could quickly find a home, move in, and take care of the many tasks awaiting her attention. Not wanting to undertake the task of building a house, she hoped to find a place to rent.

On Monday morning, September 24, house hunting began. After three exhausting days driving from place to place in the Oakland area, Ellen White and Willie decided they would have to purchase. Rents were too high for their meager salaries. As W. C. White expressed it:

For several days we have been trying to fit a number seven family into a number five house, with a number three purse to purchase furnishings (15 WCW, p. 871).

Ellen White had not forgotten that the Lord had shown His interest in her the last night while crossing the sea, so she declared she would just stop looking. “The Lord knows what our work is and where we should be located; and we shall wait the Lord's time” (Letter 132, 1900).

At this point Willie suggested that she and some of her helpers go up to the health retreat at St. Helena, some 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Oakland. This institution had just changed its name to St. Helena Sanitarium, or simply, “the san.” There she could rest a bit and also attend some of the meetings to be held in connection with the nearby Napa camp meeting.

She had been there in the years following her husband's death and had purchased eight and one-half acres (three hectares) from William Pratt to preserve the land for the future use of the sanitarium. On the property she had erected a home, Eliel, which she thought could easily be turned into an expanded facility for the care of guests of the institution (DF 14).

At the sanitarium she met old friends—Mrs. J. L. Ings, Mary Thorpe, and others. When the topic of conversation turned to the frustration of house hunting in Oakland, Mrs. Ings volunteered: “Well, below the hill there is a place that is just the thing for you. It is Robert Pratt's place” (Letter 158, 1900). Ellen White was definitely interested.

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