Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)


Lt 26, 1878


Litton Springs, Healdsburg, California

May 2, 1878

Previously unpublished.

Dear children:

I am sitting under the shade of an immense oak tree writing to you. Yesterday for the first time we visited this beautiful spot. There are two thousand seven hundred acres of land, ten fine houses for visitors or patients, a large schoolhouse, and here are seltzer springs, iron springs, white sulphur springs, and the finest fresh water from a living spring in the mountain brought into every room in the main building and in every house on the premises. The main building cost no less than seventy thousand with all the marble basins and modern improvements, gas fixtures and other conveniences. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1878, par. 1

The owner, Mr. Litton, was offered one hundred twenty-five thousand for the premises without the buildings, and he refused to accept it. It has now passed out of his hands and can be bought, I am told, for sixty thousand. There is not such a place on this coast for an institution as this. If our people could only command the money here in California and invest it here, what a treasure this would be. If Sister Rowland could sell and we could sell and several others could sell and invest the means here, we should have the grandest place in the world for camp-meetings, for sanitarium, for our brethren to purchase farms of fifty acres, cut it up in sections, and it would make the most renowned place. The climate is mild and bracing, no harsh, penetrating winds, and then to look at the pretty cottages built. It is all closed up, vacant for want of a good manager to run it. It is now in the possession of the Odd Fellows of San Francisco. They do not know what to do with such property and therefore offer it for sale at an enormous discount. The buildings are worth more than the sum asked, and the land is excellent for cultivation, grazing. I wish our people could have it. It is the most beautiful place I ever saw. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1878, par. 2

Father is using the water here now. It does wonderful cures for inflammatory diseases. He bathes in it. We shall come here every day 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1878, par. 3

But we must now leave. Shall put this in the office as we return home. This is only five miles from our home, and we were thinking of going sixty miles to Bartlett Springs and camp a few weeks. But we shall now come here. We can have the use of one of these cottages free. Our horses can feed on the grass on the expansive farm. 3LtMs, Lt 26, 1878, par. 4