Soon after returning to Oakland, Ellen attended the camp meeting held at Sacramento where the delegates took action to establish an educational institution at Healdsburg, less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of the Bay cities of San Francisco and Oakland.
A school committee of seven was appointed four days later. W. C. White, as chairman, was authorized, among other responsibilities, to "select a building at some eligible point in the State [in northern California]." Less than a month later a well-built school building was found at Healdsburg. It had cost $10,000 but could be secured, with furniture, for $3,750.