A Visit to Elmshaven

This past week, our family drove up the scenic California coastline and visited Elmshaven, the final home of Ellen G. White.  I’m realizing while writing this that it looks like the trees need a good shave, but pretend it’s two words – Elms’ haven. Apparently, Ellen White didn’t want the trees cut down, and asked her son Willie not to clear the six acres she gave to him to build his own house.  We parked in a shady visitor’s lot and walked up the driveway to the white farmhouse.

Our tour guide, Mr. Doug Ermshar, greeted us at the front door and led us straight through the small entryway to the parlor, which was now full of displays.  We took about twenty minutes hearing information about White’s writings, family members, and work in California before moving out to the remainder of the home.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and involved our kids, asking them questions and answering any questions they had.  The kids enjoyed the kitchen area the most, where large differences could be seen in technology (icebox vs. refrigerator, for example).  They also liked going up the tiny back stairs that led directly to Ellen White’s writing room.

The well-lit, many windowed room was added to the home in order for Ellen to have a space for her books and a good writing situation.  In a few short years, Ellen fell while entering the room and broke her hip. The hospital could do nothing for her, so a bed was borrowed and Ellen died shortly after in the room where she prayed, received visions from God, and wrote those visions down.

I would recommend stopping by Elmshaven if you ever get the chance.  Pacific Union College is also located here, and is up in the mountains surrounding pretty Napa Valley, CA.  There’s good food – in Napa – like Amy’s.  We buy a lot of Amy’s microwaveable meals at home.  The vineyards on the valley floor are covered with mist in the early mornings and evenings, and green mountains surround the pasturelands.  If you visit Elmshaven, I’d love to hear about it.


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