by Bob Bearchell –
ARC GRADUATES RETURNED to Lytton to attend the 100 year celebration of ministry.
The Salvation Army’s historic Lytton complex, located in the picturesque hills of Sonoma County, Calif., recently celebrated a century of service and honored the thousands of youngsters and adults whose lives were touched during their stay there.
It was an exciting day filled with nostalgia, reminiscing, thanksgiving and choice fellowship.
Special guests were men and women who were former students of the Lytton Home and School, some returning for the first time to this place filled with fond childhood memories.
The day’s events began with a service of dedication in the chapel presided over by the ARC administrators, Majors Clyde and Nancy Curnow. Among the highlights was a time of emotional sharing by a number of returning graduates of the program and guests.
The afternoon celebration was held outdoors in a beautiful setting located in the center of the grounds. Citizens from the local communities mingled with former Lytton residents, together with the men and staff of the ARC.
Providing music on this festive occasion was the 50-piece Healdsburg Community Band. Another highlight of the program was a certificate of honor presented by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in “Appreciative Public Recognition of Distinction and Merit to The Salvation Army in Lytton for Outstanding Service to the County of Sonoma.”
In 1904, the Army purchased the property—which once held a luxurious hotel surrounded by two natural springs—and converted it into what was then called an orphanage. Captain and Mrs. Wilfred Bourne were the first officers in charge of the program. Historical records indicate 16 children were the first residents, with the first weeks operating budget of 21 dollars.
In 1959, the facility was converted in to an Adult Rehabilitation Center.