The Healing House: A Memoir
by Elaine Ostergren Adams
Before antibiotics and today’s assorted miracle pills, only fresh air and summer sunshine around the Hayden Lake farmhouse could enable a California city child to recover from near-fatal TB, rheumatic fever and pneumonia. The Idaho farmhouse, homesteaded in 1893 by Swedish immigrants Jacob and Christina Thunborg, is a symbol of the friendships nurtured with the author’s four grandparents—also immigrants from Sweden—when all met at the same Spokane boardinghouse in then-Washington territory.
More than a century has passed, four generations of the author’s family savor fond memories and, in 1985, the venerable farmhouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Other memories include a child’s view of the S.F. Bay Area in the 1930s—the romance of luxurious train travel, construction of the magnificent Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges, Treasure Island, the World’s Fair—and more.
Return to Book of the Week Archive