Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Looking for a Suitable Property

Elder Olsen remained in Australia about six weeks after the close of the 1894 camp meeting. During that time he joined heartily in the search for a suitable place for the school. The officers of the Conference and the locating committee were hoping that some good property might be found before his departure for America, but in this they were disappointed. Mrs. White visited many of the places under consideration. As the search advanced, it became evident that great difficulty would be experienced in securing, at moderate cost, a property suitable for the broad lines of work it was thought should be carried on by the school. LS 356.1

In May, five members of the committee visited Dora Creek and Cooranbong, and examined the tract of land which was afterward purchased for $4,500. This tract contained 1,450 acres of wild land, about 500 acres of which was thought to be suitable for the cultivation of grains, fruits, and vegetables, and for pasture. After its purchase, the estate was named “Avondale,” because of the numerous creeks and the abundance of flowing water. The place chosen for school buildings is about three miles west from the Dora Creek railway station, and one and a quarter miles southeast of the Cooranbong post office. LS 356.2

In January and February of 1895, the friends of the school were favored with a visit from Mrs. A. E. Wessels, of Cape Town, South Africa, accompanied by three of her children. They were well pleased with many features of the Avondale estate; and being deeply in sympathy with the objects and aims of the work, her daughter Anna gave $5,000 to help make a beginning. LS 357.1