The Review and Herald


March 16, 1905

Notes of Travel—No. 6

San Diego County, California


From Los Angeles we went to San Diego, and spent three weeks, from November 7 to 28, at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. RH March 16, 1905, par. 1

There are nearly three hundred Sabbath-keepers in San Diego County, settled mostly in San Diego, National City, Escondido, and San Pasqual. A general meeting was appointed to be held in the San Diego church, November 12 and 13. The brethren responded cheerfully, and the commodious meeting-house was well filled. Elders Santee, Healey, and Burden came down from Los Angeles County to take part with us and Elder F. I. Richardson in the general meeting, and to counsel about the work of our new sanitarium. RH March 16, 1905, par. 2

It had been announced that I would speak on Sabbath morning, but I was unable to fill my appointment. While traveling I had caught a severe cold, and could only whisper. Sunday afternoon was pleasant, and I attempted to speak. With great difficulty I spoke for about twenty minutes. Then Elder Healey gave a stirring discourse to the large audience that had assembled. RH March 16, 1905, par. 3

On Monday the attention of our brethren was given to the affairs of the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. They looked over the land and the buildings, and saw the improvements that were being made. All were surprised to find that so much had been done during the summer in preparing the building for occupancy, and with thankful hearts they entered into counsel concerning future plans and work. RH March 16, 1905, par. 4

A Review of Our Experiences

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 5

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 marble wash-bowl in most of the bedrooms. RH March 16, 1905, par. 6

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 from the National City post-office. RH March 16, 1905, par. 7

There are twenty acres of land. About one half of this had once been planted to fruit-trees, but during the long drought that this country has suffered, all the trees died except the ornamental trees and shrubbery around the buildings, and about seventy olive-trees on the terraces. RH March 16, 1905, par. 8

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.” RH March 16, 1905, par. 9

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, in the following words: RH March 16, 1905, par. 10

“As soon as possible sanitariums are to be established in different places in southern California. Let a beginning be made in several places. If possible, let land be purchased on which buildings are already erected. Then, as the prosperity of the work demands, let appropriate enlargement be made.... In southern California there are many properties for sale on which buildings suitable for sanitarium work are already erected. Some of these properties should be purchased, and medical missionary work be carried forward on sensible, rational lines. Several small sanitariums are to be established in southern California, for the benefit of the multitudes drawn there in the hope of finding health. Instruction has been given me that now is our opportunity to reach the invalids flocking to the health resorts of southern California.” RH March 16, 1905, par. 11

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 co-operate in the matter, and nothing was done. RH March 16, 1905, par. 12

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 13

The drought continued, and the owners of this property were very much discouraged. In January, 1904, Dr. Whitelock wrote me that the mortgages 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 six thousand dollars for the mortgages. RH March 16, 1905, par. 14

Shortly after we had secured the place, Elder and Mrs. J. F. Ballenger joined us in raising the amount to be paid for the property. RH March 16, 1905, par. 15

Having secured the place, we needed a manager, and we found one ready for the work. Brother E. R. Palmer and his wife, who had spent the winter in Arizona, were in San Diego. Brother Palmer's bronchial trouble, which had brought him West, was being overcome, and they were willing to take charge of the work of fitting up the sanitarium building for use. RH March 16, 1905, par. 16

At first Brother Palmer had to work moderately and with great caution. His health would not admit of violent exertion, and our funds would not admit of hiring much help. He began the work cautiously, and the way opened for advance. RH March 16, 1905, par. 17

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 third 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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 18

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? RH March 16, 1905, par. 19

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?” RH March 16, 1905, par. 20

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 21

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 22

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 soft 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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 23

The workers at the sanitarium are all cheerful and hard working. Every morning and evening they have a season of worship. For a day or two after reaching there, I met with them, and 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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 24

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? RH March 16, 1905, par. 25

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 26

One evening, just before we left, a four-horse team drawing a large, heavy wagon, drove in, bringing gifts to the sanitarium from San Pasqual. In the load there were potatoes, squash, canned fruit, and two beautiful Jersey cows. RH March 16, 1905, par. 27

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. RH March 16, 1905, par. 28

The workers connected with our sanitariums are to be sympathetic, kind, and straightforward in their dealings with one another and with the patients. Their words and deeds are to be noble and upright. They are ever to receive from Christ light and grace and love to impart to those in darkness. By their efforts the sick, the sinful, the prodigals, who have left the Father's house, are to be encouraged to return. God's word to these workers is, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Fear not, neither be discouraged; for I am thy God.” RH March 16, 1905, par. 29