Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Ellen White Buys Acreage from the School

From the very first, as the plans began to develop for the use of the 1,450 acres of the Brettville estate, it was calculated that some of the land would be sold to Adventist families. By July, 1895, there was talk of some 120 acres being thus disposed of. On Sunday morning, July 7, Ellen White negotiated for the first of such land to be cut off from the estate, forty acres on the north side of the tract. For this she paid $1,350. “The reason I purchase now,” she wrote, “is that I may furnish money which they [those connected with the school] need so much just now.”—Manuscript 61, 1895. 4BIO 219.7

She planned to leave some of the land as woodland, use some for grazing, and some for orchard and garden. Of course, a select spot would go for the homesite (Letter 88, 1895). 4BIO 220.1

For some time she had felt that she should have her home in a location more conductive to her writing than the large rented house at Granville. There it seemed inevitable that she must run what seemed to be a “free hotel,” with people coming and going almost every day. Now she determined to build a little cottage where such demands could not be made upon her; she also determined to develop a portion of her land in such a way as to provide an object lesson of what could be done in agricultural lines in that area. It was mid-July, and on inquiry she learned that whatever was to be done in planting an orchard must be accomplished in the next few weeks. 4BIO 220.2

As the forty acres came into her possession, the first step in developing her little farm was the clearing of the land for the orchard. Soon there were three good-sized tents on her land. She and her granddaughter Ella lived in one, and also much of the time one of her woman helpers. Another of the tents was used for cooking and dining, and the third was occupied by some of the men working on her land (8 WCW, p. 31). 4BIO 220.3

Mr. Caldwell, somewhat of an all-round man who assisted at her Granville home, was instructed to come, bringing her team and the platform wagon. It was a seventy-five-mile trip, but it was convenient to have the transportation she needed at Cooranbong (Letter 88, 1895). 4BIO 220.4

On a quick trip to Granville late in July, with Hare, Rousseau, and W. C. White, she spent a day driving around seeking information on securing fruit trees and orchard planting. The tour included stops at the Radley place, where there was a fine, well-kept orchard, and the Whitman home. It turned out to be a missionary visit as well, for Whitman was losing his grip on the message, and Radley had only partially received the truth. Tuesday, July 30, she went into Sydney. Here is her description of the day's activities as found in her diary: 4BIO 220.5

I went into Sydney to see if I could find anything for the poor families, cheap. Money is so scarce we hardly know what to do and which way to turn to supply the demands in a variety of lines. The calamity of failure of banks has been and still will be keenly felt. We watch our chances where goods are offered for half price and purchase most excellent material to give to those who cannot buy that which they need. We are oft distressed at the sight of our eyes. I never have seen anything like it.—Manuscript 61, 1895. 4BIO 221.1

On Wednesday, the last day of July, they were shopping again: 4BIO 221.2

All day, W. C. White, Emily, and I spent in Sydney purchasing the things essential for our use in camp life. We thought it wisdom to select an outfit of granite ware [enameled cooking utensils] that will bear transporting and handling.—Ibid.

Royalty income and some borrowing made it possible for Ellen White to do what others could not do in missionary lines. 4BIO 221.3