Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 110, 1909

White, J. E.

St. Helena, California

September 17, 1909

This letter is published in entirety in 1MR 338-342.

Elder J. E. White
Nashville, Tennessee

My dear Son Edson:

Home again! When we reached home, a camp-meeting had just begun at Fruitvale. But I was not able to attend the first few days of the meeting. While crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains, the last night of our journey, I suffered with great weakness of the heart. Sara and Willie feared I might not live to get home. But soon we left the high altitude, and I was better; but I reached St. Helena in a very weak condition. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 1

The night we arrived at home we received a message asking us to go up the following day to see the property that had been purchased for the Pacific College. The brethren thought that this property possessed many advantages over that at Buena Vista; and as the owner of the Buena Vista place could not give us a clear title, it was thought advisable to purchase this. We left home early on the morning of Sept. 10, driving in my easiest carriage. It was a five-mile climb to the top of the hill; then when about one mile from the property the country became more level. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 2

Elder Irwin met us at the place and showed us something of the grounds and buildings. As we drove along I marked the advantages over the Buena Vista property. True, there was not here the fine, costly building that we found on the Sonoma property, but there were a number of buildings in good repair, and such as could be easily adapted to the needs of the school. The largest of the dwellings was a house of 32 rooms, and in addition to this there were four cottages. All the rooms were well planned, and substantially but not extravagantly furnished. Everything about houses and grounds looked clean and wholesome. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 3

There are 1,600 acres of land in the property, 105 acres of which is good, arable land. Twenty acres of this is in orchard. We were much pleased with the fruit that we saw. At the time of our visit, there were many workers on the ground taking care of the prunes—some gathering the fruit, others preparing it for drying. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 4

The large corn barn was filled to the roof with the best of lucerne hay harvested from the land. In the carriagehouse we saw eight buggies and wagons. There were 20 milch cows, 13 horses, and six colts included in the trade. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 5

The place has many sanitarium advantages. Here is a large bathhouse with good swimming tank and many dressing rooms. There are four bathrooms supplied with good porcelain bath tubs. The water for this swimming tank is supplied from springs on the place and is constantly flowing in and out through pipes in the sides of the enclosure. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 6

Now I have tried to describe this place to you, though I have not seen it as fully as some others. I was a very sick woman on the day that I visited the property and was not able to climb more than one flight of stairs in the main building. I did not dare to excite my heart by overexertion. But it was thought best that I should visit the place as soon as possible and pass my judgment on it as a site for our school. I am very pleased with the place; it has many advantages as a school location. We are thankful for the abundant supply of pure water flowing from numerous springs and thrown into large tanks by three hydraulic rams; also for the good buildings, for the good farmland, and for the hundreds of acres of woodland, on which there are many thousands of feet of saw timber. We are thankful also for the machinery which is all in such good order, for the furniture, which, though it is not fine, is good and substantial; for the fruit that is canned and dried, and which will be much appreciated by teachers and students this first year of school. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 7

When we learned that we were not going to be able to secure the Sonoma property, an assurance was given me that a better place was provided for us, where we could have many advantages over our first selection. As I have looked over this property, I pronounce it to be superior in many respects. A school could not be located in a better spot. It is eight miles from St. Helena and is free from city temptations. The entire cost is sixty thousand dollars ($60,000). Forty thousand dollars of this money has been raised, and we hope the balance will soon be forthcoming. Our people see that this property is much better than we hoped to be favored with. It is situated only six miles from the sanitarium where Dr. Rand is head physician. The leading workers of these two institutions can co-operate in their work to carry forward the work of sanitarium and school solidly. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 8

In Prof. C. W. Irwin and wife we have excellent workers. Prof. Irwin will be the principle of the school. They have no children. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 9

In time more cottages will have to be built for the students, and these the students themselves can erect under the instruction of capable teachers. Timber can be prepared right on the ground for this work, and the students can be taught how to build in a creditable manner. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 10

We need have no fear of drinking impure water, for here it is supplied freely to us from the Lord’s treasurehouse. I do not know how to be grateful enough for these many advantages, but I feel like putting my whole trust in the Lord, and as long as my life is spared to glorify my Redeemer. With heart and soul and voice I praise Him that He has made such wonderful provision for us. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 11

I went to Oakland the Monday following my visit to Angwin’s, but could only speak twice. The heat was intense, and I could not endure it. I think I shall have to be very careful for a time. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 12

I must now close this letter, for I am very tired; but I felt that I could not rest until you knew something about this place. I would be very glad to see you both. If Emma would come, she would find here a delightful place to rest. I think how much she would enjoy the advantages of the Angwin property. And when you feel that you want to get into a good atmosphere, come to us, and we will find a good place for you. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 13

It is growing dark, and I cannot see to write more. 24LtMs, Lt 110, 1909, par. 14