Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


James and Ellen White Plan for the Future

Now James and Ellen turned their thoughts to the future. On Wednesday, October 14, she wrote: 3BIO 148.7

We are now deciding to spend this winter and next summer in preparing books. First I get articles prepared for Signs. 2. I get out articles for private testimony, health institutions. 3. Get out Testimony No. 30. 4. Letters to her children by a mother. 5. [Spirit of Prophecy] Volume 4. 6. Life of Christ, both books, the most sharp and interesting matter in one large book for canvassers to use for public sale. 3BIO 148.8

So you see we have work to do. We dare not go south and will remain here this winter in Michigan. In summer we may go to Colorado. Thus you see how matters stand. Our time now must be in production of books before we get unable to use the pen.—Letter 43, 1880. 3BIO 149.1

They instituted an immediate search for a place to make their home for the year before them. They looked at a three-acre property in Grand Ledge, but it did not suit. The house was run down. “I would rather have occupied our Healdsburg home, much rather,” but it did not seem a good time to go to California. They finally settled on a three-story, well-built brick home on a thirty-acre tract of land between the city of Battle Creek and Goguac Lake, a mile from the city. It could be secured for $6,000. It stood on a prominence overlooking Battle Creek, and on it was a young orchard of 225 trees—apples, pears, peaches, and cherries (JW to WCW, November 3, 1880)—and an attractive ten-acre oak grove. The 10-year-old house, explained Ellen, had “all the advantages of a country residence.” 3BIO 149.2

First floor has a parlor twelve by twenty-two, most thoroughly finished...; hall and front door, sitting room, twelve by seventeen; kitchen, fifteen by fifteen; buttery, twelve by twelve; bedroom, twelve by twelve. There is a well on the doorsteps one hundred feet deep; a cellar stoned up and plastered rough all over—an excellent cellar, and an immense cistern.... 3BIO 149.3

There is a good barn, and plenty of land to cultivate, pasturage for cow and horses. A living stream runs through one corner of the field for pasture. Now you have our future home.—Letter 45b, 1880. 3BIO 149.4

They moved in on Sunday, December 19. Observing that it would soon be Christmas, Ellen noted in a letter to a friend: “My Christmas will be spent in seeking Jesus to be a welcome guest in my heart. His presence will drive all the shadows away.”—Letter 51, 1880. 3BIO 149.5