Lesson Plan

Sanitarium Times


Lesson Preparation


Teacher Reading

You'll definitely want to use Sunshine, Citrus and Science by Keld Reynolds. Bibliography





  • See the Links
  • Your best source will probably be the online searchable database at the Del E. Webb Library Heritage Room, Loma Linda University. Students can conduct online searches under topics or names. The photos are copyrighted by the University, but searching and looking is certainly worthwhile. You can look at these images without fees or permission. Permission would need to be sought from the Heritage Room to copy or use the images. If you can project computer images to your TV or a projector, a substantial lesson could be developed with pictures of Loma Linda pioneers or historic buildings and places. Several thousand pictures have already been placed on the database, with more on the way. Address:



  • If you write something, or know of something readable for primary students, please let me know!




1. Habitat: The change to Seventh-day Adventist ownership didn't change the habitat significantly at first. The San Timoteo Creek was redirected away from the railroad tracks, but couldn't be stopped from flooding the town in later years. People started building their homes in the low-lying land along Anderson Street. Flooding would later make them regret the move. The solution: re-channel the creek. No one ever considered moving away from the flood plain.

2. Food: The Seventh-day Adventists supported a vegetarian lifestyle. The college had a dairy and poultry farm, but most people didn't eat meat. Loma Linda had its own health-food factory, making gluten products from wheat flour that approximated meat. Loma Linda Foods became world-famous, even when the factory moved to Riverside.

3. Housing: The Seventh-day Adventist community did not display wealth. Even though many of the inhabitants were highly-educated doctors and nurses, they were willing to work at very low wages to support the missionary efforts of the church. This lesson would be a great time to compare and contrast the humble homes and structures in early Loma Linda with the mansions and extreme wealth-displays in Redlands.

4. Social Structure: Life in Adventist Loma Linda revolved around the church. Loma Linda had a Justice Court, but depended on the County of San Bernardino for government. Loma Linda was uniquely self-contained. The people sometimes left town for shopping, but most of their daily needs were supplied right in this little town.

5. Art and Tools: The community has been strong on utility, and fairly slim on the aesthetic. Grand displays of architecture and design are almost completely lacking. In modern times, the Medical Center and University buildings, while large and impressive, don't reflect much attention to the artistic. The author believes this has to do with the missionary heart of the community, where it has been believed that money should be spent on "doing good" than on creating gardens, museums or galleries.

Music is strongly encouraged in Loma Linda. Children participate in children's choirs at school and church. Instrumental music is taught at the elementary and high school level, with a strong emphasis on sacred and classical music. Most churches have choirs who participate in church services.

In recent times, the most visible art in Loma Linda is "The Good Samaritan" set of sculptures that stand between the Dental School and the University Church.

6. Footprints: The community made more and more demands on the environment. Water was initially readily available, with artesian wells. As more demands were made for water, pumps were required to bring the water up. The community built bigger and more tanks to hold water for drought periods.

Projects and Activities

1. Students can search the database of the Heritage Room on a particular subject, and present their results in paper or A/V form.

2. Many of the early inhabitants of Loma Linda are still alive. People like Van Unger, Elmer Digneo and others can be interviewed about life in early Loma Linda.


Worksheet - Sanitarium


The worksheets may be used as either a lesson guide and written in as you go along, or as a test. Feel free to make up your own to fit your approach to the curriculum




1. Visit the Loma Linda City Hall Fire Station and talk with the firefighters about their museum. They have a collection of early equipment and displays that document the development of the Volunteer Fire Department in Loma Linda.

2. Go to the top of the Mound and read the plaque that tells about the establishment of Loma Linda.

3. Ask neighbors and friends about any of the older Loma Linda residents who may still be alive. Talk to them, interview them, ask to see any pictures of their lives. It can be very rewarding! you may have someone in your own family with great stories of the "old days."