Historical Society of Battle Creek
Second Floor TourThe Children's Room
Originally a guest bedroom, the Kimball family called this room the "yellow room" because of the color of the painted walls. It is now a display room featuring children's toys and games, including Twinzy Toys made in Battle Creek.Toys made by the Zulu Toy Company of Battle Creek are also displayed in the room, along with typical dolls, books and toys of the Victorian era. The model of Kimball House was created by an artist from East Leroy and presented to the house in 2006.
The "Battle Creek Idea" at the Sanitarium
The Battle Creek Sanitarium began life in 1866 as the Western Health Reform Institute, based on the visionary ideas of Seventh-day Adventist church founder Ellen White. The institution, and the ideas health reform ideas taught there, were brought to international prominence through the charisma and medical genius of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.  The Western Health Reform Institute opened on September 5, 1866, as a "water cure and vegetarian institution where a properly balanced God-fearing course of treatments could be made available not only to Adventists, but to the public generally."  Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was immediately offered the post of medical director. He initially refused, preferring to devote his career to writing and research. The next year he reluctantly agreed to serve as director for one year. That year stretched to 67 as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg remained as medical director until his death in 1943 at the age of 91.  He coined the term "sanitarium" and declared that the Battle Creek Sanitarium was to be a sanitary "place where people learn to stay well."  By 1885 the San had become the "largest institution of its kind in the world."  The San offered more than 200 varieties of water treatments. Sun baths and exercise in the open air were important parts of the San regime. After a careful assessment of each patient's muscular strength and conditioning, a daily combination of "light calisthenics, Swedish movements, indoor gymnastics, swimming, outdoor gymnasium work, folk dancing, horseback riding, etc." was prescribed. Swedish massage and a variety of mechanical exercise devices, including vibrating belts, chairs, tables and stools, were popular indoor exercise options. For the feeble patient, automatic or passive exercise was available.
Dr. Kellogg not only opposed meat eating on moral and religious grounds, but also for health reasons. He felt that man's natural diet should be vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.To make this healthy diet appealing to patients, there was constant experimentation in the San's kitchens, under the direction of Ella Eaton Kellogg, the doctor's wife. More than 80 grain and nut-food products were developed there, including such modern staples as peanut butter and flaked, ready-to-eat breakfast foods.
The Servant's Rooms
The house was clearly designed to accommodate a domestic servant in this suite of rooms separated from the family quarters. The narrow, steep back stairs provide the servant access to the kitchen, allowing her to travel between her work area and her living quarters without entering the family's space or consciousness.
Bridget's Room
Currently used to display rotating exihibits.
Minnie Kimball's Bedroom
When Arthur S. Kimball and Minnie Osterbind of Richmond, Virginia, were married in 1903, this bedroom and the adjoining sitting room and bathroom were converted into their private suite. A passage through the closet was created to connect the two main rooms. The young couple lived in the house, with mother Marion, until after the birth of their first set of twins in 1907. The growing family then moved to a new home on Upton Avenue, where they lived until after Marion's death in 1932. Minnie and her children then moved back into the Maple Street home, where she lived until her death in 1952. According to family sources, Marion Kimball used to sit in the oriole window, watching for her husband walking home for lunch from his downtown office. The elaborate wooden bed belonged to Minnie, who brought it with her from Virginia. Minnie's silver hair brush and mirror set are on the dresser. A group of family pictures and memorabilia includes photos of Minnie's parents, her graduation certificate from Randolph Macon College and their marriage license. An elaborate hair wreath and an old family sampler, dating from the mid-18th century, hang on the wall opposite the bed. An exhibit featuring the personal and professional lives of Arthur S. and Minnie O. Kimball is displayed in the Sitting Room.