Elmshaven: A Reflection of the Personality and Values of Ellen White


Elmshaven is the historic Victorian-style home of Seventh-day Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White, who wrote nine major books out of her overall body of work in the upper writing room of the house. Millions of her more than 40 books have been produced in both traditional and digital formats, and some have been translated and published in as many as 160 languages. White lived in the house for 15 years—from its purchase in 1900 until her death in 1915. It was named as a National Historic Landmark in 1993.

Today the house, located about 15 minutes from the Napa Valley city of St. Helena in Northern California, appears much as it was when Ellen White lived and worked there, with many of the original furnishings placed as she left them. Elmshaven is owned and maintained by the Pacific Union Conference, and it is open to visitors interested in architecture, antiques, church history, or even how people lived 100 years ago. The house is made up of a front hall, reception area, living room, dining room, kitchen, secret staircase, writing room, bathroom, hall of the pioneers, guest rooms, and Ellen White’s bedroom. Its reserved style and practical furnishings create a sense of simplicity and balance—typical of the personality and values of Ellen White herself. Currently there are between 7,000 and 8,000 visitors each year.

While Elmshaven was threatened by the Glass Fire of 2020, which destroyed much of the surrounding area, the house was spared.

The historic home provides a peaceful glimpse of Seventh-day Adventist history to the many visitors who make their way to the Napa Valley each year. This history was enhanced just this year when the only photograph of Ellen White taken inside the house was discovered in a donated collection. The unique photograph, thought to have been taken between 1901 and 1905, shows White taking a break from writing to look directly at the camera.
Elmshaven was the final home of Ellen G. White and is now owned by the Pacific Union Conference.