Letters From Ellen G. White To Sanitarium Workers in Southern California—c

The Paradise Valley Sanitarium

[From The Review and Herald, March 16, 1905.]

During the spring of 1902, the attention of several of our brethren was called to the Paradise Valley Sanitarium building, which was erected for a sanitarium by Mrs. Mary L. Potts about twenty years ago. After being used for a few months, it lay idle for many years, and was then offered for sale at twenty thousand dollars, with encouragement that it might be purchased for fifteen thousand dollars cash. SpTB03c 16.4

In September, 1902, after the Los Angeles camp-meeting, we spent a week in San Diego, and visited several places that were offered us for sanitarium work. In the building offered us by Mrs. Potts, it seemed to me we found about all that we could ask. Here was a well-constructed, three-story building of fifty rooms, with broad verandas, standing upon a pleasant rise of ground, and overlooking a beautiful valley. Many of the rooms are large and airy, and there is a stationary wash-bowl in most of the bedrooms. SpTB03c 16.5

Besides the main building, there is a good stable, and also a six-room cottage, which can be fitted up for helpers. The property is conveniently located, being less than seven miles from San Diego, and about a mile and a half from the National City post-office. SpTB03c 17.1

There are twenty acres of land. About one half of this had once been planted to fruit trees, but during the long drought this country has suffered, all the trees died except the ornamental trees and shrubbery around the buildings, and about one hundred twenty-five olive trees on the terraces. SpTB03c 17.2

When we learned that the owners of this property had become so discouraged on account of the many years of drought that they were offering it for twelve thousand dollars, I said to our brethren, “I believe that the Lord has kept this place for us, and that He will open the way for us to secure it. I never saw a building offered for sale that was better adapted for sanitarium work. If this place were fixed up, it would look just like places that have been shown me by the Lord.” SpTB03c 17.3

A year before, light had been given me that our people in Southern California must watch for opportunities to purchase such properties, and it seemed plain to me and to those who were with me that the opportunity of securing this place was a fulfilment of the encouragement given us, and published in the Testimonies for the Church 7:97, 98. SpTB03c 17.4

In December we learned that this place could be purchased for eleven thousand dollars, and I encouraged Dr. Whitelock to take steps to secure it. But our leading brethren in the Southern California Conference were not ready to cooperate in the matter, and nothing was done. SpTB03c 17.5

In the summer of 1903, the property was offered to us for eight thousand dollars, and again we found that our brethren were not in a position to act. SpTB03c 17.6

The drought continued, and the owners of this property were very much discouraged. In January, 1904, Dr. Whitelock wrote me that the mortgage could be bought for six thousand dollars, and perhaps less. Again I advised our brethren connected with the medical work in Southern California to secure the place. But I learned that they were not prepared to act. Then I laid the matter before Sister Gotzian, and she consented to join me in securing the place. Then we telegraphed an offer of four thousand dollars for the mortgages. Two days later a telegram was returned accepting the offer. Meanwhile a letter from other parties in San Diego was on its way to New York, offering five thousand dollars for the mortgages.... SpTB03c 17.7

When we visited the place in November last, we found that much had been done during the summer. The building had been thoroughly repaired, inside and out, and painted outside. It had been fitted up with electric lights, and about one half of the rooms were furnished. By taking advantage of several sales of furniture by wealthy families leaving the country, first-class furniture had been secured at very low prices. SpTB03c 18.1

Our great anxiety about the place was the matter of an ample supply of water. Years ago, when the valley was prosperous, it depended upon the water of the mountain streams stored up by great dams, but as the result of the many years of drought, there was no water in the reservoirs to supply our needs. Some of our neighbors in the valley had good wells, but our place was a little to one side. The great question was, Can we get plenty of water by digging? SpTB03c 18.2

The well diggers had gone down eighty feet, and found a little water, but they wanted much more. O, how much depended upon our finding plenty of good, pure water! With an abundance of water, our work could go forward, but without it, what should we do? From the beginning I had felt the assurance that the Lord would open the way for our work to advance; but who could tell when and how? Our people were deeply desirous of seeing the sanitarium make a success, and as we met them, the question was, “Have you found water?” SpTB03c 18.3

While this important question was pending. Prof. E. S. Ballenger and my son went to San Pasqual and Escondido to present to our people the encouragements that had attended the enterprise thus far, and the plan of organization that had been prepared, and to ask for their help. SpTB03c 19.1

All were glad to share the burden of making this sanitarium, as far as possible, a San Diego County enterprise, and they gave freely according to their ability. About fifteen hundred dollars was subscribed, and half of this was brought back for immediate use. SpTB03c 19.2

The very day of the return of Professor Ballenger and my son, with the evidence of the hearty, practical support of the people, the workers in the well struck a fine stream of good, pure water. The next morning Brother Palmer came up early to tell me that there was fourteen feet of water in the well. The water is good and pure, and we are greatly rejoiced to know that there is an abundant supply. This well is a treasure more valuable than gold or silver or precious stones. SpTB03c 19.3

The workers at the sanitarium are all cheerful and hardworking. Every morning and evening they have a season of worship. For a day or two after reaching there, I met with them, an enjoyed the privilege very much. The blessing of the Lord rested upon us, and I was very sorry when sickness prevented me from attending regularly. SpTB03c 19.4

When shall we open the place for patients? was a question often discussed. Several were impatiently waiting to enter, but how could we admit them while the house was being repainted inside, and while the large kitchen range was being set up? SpTB03c 19.5

One morning a lady came unannounced, and insisted upon staying. Others came before we were ready, and patients continued to come till there were twenty, and our workers were kept so busy that there has been no time as yet for a formal opening. SpTB03c 19.6

During the last three nights of my stay at this institution, much instruction was given me regarding the sanitariums which for years have been greatly needed, and which should long ago have been equipped and set in working order. Medical missionary work is to be to the third angel's message as the right hand to the body. Our sanitariums are one great means of doing medical missionary work. They are to reach the people in their need. SpTB03c 19.7


San Jose, Cal.,

June 26, 1905.

Dear Brethren and Sisters,

As we returned from General Conference, we stopped ten days in Southern California, and between the council meetings at Los Angeles we made a short visit to San Diego, and spent four days at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. SpTB03c 20.1

I am so much pleased to see this sanitarium fully furnished and in running order. I was glad to see the patients and hear of their improvement in health. My heart rejoices as I review the way in which the providence of God worked to help us to secure this property. The building is home-like and is admirably adapted for sanitarium work; and since the opening of the institution, the patronage has been good. Even before the building was ready, patients began to come. They urged themselves in before those in charge were ready to receive them. It was impossible to refuse to admit them, and the workers have done the best that could be done under the circumstances. A most interesting class of patients have come, among them ministers, lawyers, stockmen, farmers, and state senators. SpTB03c 20.2

So far the work has been carried on under difficulties. The building has been furnished completely and well, and yet without extravagance. But it has never been supplied with proper treatment rooms, and it is impossible for the workers to do satisfactory work without better facilities in this respect. Good work has been done in the small treatment rooms which were in the original building, but the nurses have had to contend with many difficulties. SpTB03c 20.3

Plans have been drawn up by a competent architect for a two-story addition in the form of an L, which will provide more kitchen room, a helpers’ dining-room, eleven more bedrooms for patients, an operating room, physicians’ offices, and complete, roomy bath rooms. I am in harmony with the plans for this addition. The treatment-rooms are practically outside the present main building, and yet are connected with it. They are to be provided with every facility for giving thorough treatment. SpTB03c 21.1

It is estimated that about eight thousand dollars will be needed to build, furnish, and equip this addition, including the treatment-rooms. We have not in hand the necessary means, and we ask those who have money that they can spare to help us to put this institution in complete working order. The treatment-rooms are a positive necessity to the best success of the institution. The main building is all that could be desired. It was in the providence of God that we obtained it at so low a price. Its original cost was about twenty-five thousand dollars. The grounds are well laid out, and beautified by ornamental trees. The climate is all that could be desired. There are no reasons why the sick can not be treated successfully at this institution, but the necessity must be provided. SpTB03c 21.2

More decided efforts are to be put forth in Southern California. There is a great work to be done in this field. We have done all in our power to advance the work there, and now that this sanitarium property in San Diego County has been purchased, we call upon our brethren and sisters to aid us in properly equipping the institution that we may do successful work. I ask those who have been entrusted with the Lord's money to make gifts to this sanitarium, that it may be prepared to do the work that must be done for the sick and suffering. SpTB03c 21.3

Brethren and sisters, I plead with you to help forward our sanitarium work. The Paradise Valley Sanitarium is in need of assistance. We have evidence that the money expended there has been used wisely and well. The strictest economy has been shown in all that has been done, and advantage has been taken of every opportunity to save means. At the beginning of our work, the manager heard of some furniture for sale by a family leaving the district. He went to see it, and found that they could obtain some first-class furniture for the same price they would have to pay for a cheaper grade. They gladly availed themselves of the opportunity, and thus obtained very cheaply enough furniture of the very best quality to furnish five rooms. SpTB03c 21.4

I know that the work of the sanitarium must be carried forward. During the two visits that I have made to the institution, I have realized that the Spirit of the Lord is in the sanitarium, and that the work is being carried on in a way that will glorify God. Those in the institution are doing all in their power to make it what the Lord desires it to be. Every morning worship is held in the parlor, and the patients are invited to attend. I have had most precious seasons of refreshing in attending these services. A portion of scripture is read, then there is singing, and earnest prayers are offered that the great Medical Missionary will let His health-giving presence bring light and comfort and peace. I have had the privilege of speaking to those assembled at these seasons of worship, and I myself have been comforted in the effort to help and encourage others. I testify that the blessing of the Lord has come to us in rich currents of love and hope and joy. I have realized the presence of the great Healer, and I know His power will be exercised upon the sick and suffering, to bless and heal.... SpTB03c 22.1

My brethren and sisters, I ask you to help us in preparing the Paradise Valley Sanitarium to do the best service, so that the work will tell for time and eternity. I ask you, my dear friends, to help us in this time of need, and I believe you will. SpTB03c 22.2