Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Side Lights on Her Closing Years

She returned to America in 1900, and in St. Helena, California, about sixty-five miles north of San Francisco, purchased a place named Elmshaven, which was to be her home until the time of her death in 1915. Though she was seventy-two at the time of her return, she did not settle down to ease and retirement. She traveled and preached and wrote much. During this period she took a most active part in the founding of several medical institutions, including a medical school. * EGWC 48.1

The qualities of housewife and neighbor were as clearly evident in these later years as in the former ones. Sometime during 1901 she made a visit to the denominational college in Healdsburg. In connection with this visit she journeyed by carriage to Santa Rosa to hold a Sabbath meeting. As she drove back to Healdsburg, this little incident took place: EGWC 48.2

“On our return we called upon a family by the name of Lighter. They live about half way between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, and seem to be in limited circumstances. Sister Lighter’s father, a very old man, is quite feeble.... EGWC 48.3

“We were glad to do an errand for the Master by visiting this family. Willie [her son William] read the comforting promises of God’s Word to the sick man, and I presented the afflicted one to the Great Physician, who is able to heal both soul and body. The family were very thankful for our visit. I know that they were comforted.”—Letter 126, 1901. EGWC 48.4

Often on her daily carriage drives through the quiet Napa Valley, in which her home was situated, she would alight and visit with a mother who might be seen by a farmhouse with her children. The children always provided a subject of mutual interest. More often than not the farm mother did not even know who had stopped so informally to chat with her for a few moments. EGWC 48.5

From one of her letters in 1903 this sentence is taken: “Our carriages were drawn up under the trees, and I picked nineteen quarts [of cherries], sometimes sitting on the carriage seat, and sometimes standing on it.”—Letter 121, 1903. In her 1904 letters is found mention of her driving out to a pasture “to see the black calf.” It seems that she was solicitous to know whether it “were faring well after the long rain.”—Letter 91, 1904. EGWC 49.1