Tuesday Sep 02 2008
Popular bed and breakfast location to close
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
End of an era
Emma’s Bed and Breakfast and the Gathering Place in Loomis will close their doors to the public on Oct. 31of this year. “There are no financial problems. This was not a profit-and-loss decision,” said innkeeper and manager Sharon Fondren. Fondren said members of the Sorenson family, who own the property, wish to retain the facilities for private, family use and not have it operated as a business. Fondren also said the 48-acre site is not for sale and that the family has no plans to sell it. According to Fondren, Emma’s is honoring all reservation through the end of October, but are not taking any new bookings. She said that checks for all deposits on future reservations have been returned in letters explaining the closure. “Most people are very understanding,” Fondren said. “We were very busy. People who came here loved it.” Fondren and her husband, Harold, will stay on as caretakers of the property. She recollects that Emma’s opened as a business approximately 15 years ago after undergoing major renovation. “I’m sad. It was great to have Emma’s as both accommodations for visitors and as a facility for events,” said Leslie Griffith, Loomis Chamber of Commerce president. The business is named after Emma Sorenson, mother of famous inventor James LeVoy Sorenson. He was a billionaire, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who died in January. His mother, Emma, and father, Joseph, owned and lived in the house after James was grown. Joseph Sorenson and a partner are remembered for starting the livestock auction in Roseville decades ago. Fondren said that James kept the house after his parents’ deaths because of the fond memories of the place. Over the years, various family members have visited the house and shared anecdotes with Emma’s staff. Realtor Joyce Hinkey and her husband, Ted, of Loomis, rented the house from the Sorensons and lived in it for five years beginning in 1966. In 2000, they held their 50th wedding anniversary party at Emma’s. Ed Horton, of Loomis, also remembers the property. Horton leased the orchards from the Sorensons for about three years and farmed there during the late 1950s. According to the Web site Wikipedia, James Sorenson was the founder of , a parent company of 32 corporations. He was a noted philanthropist, the richest man in Utah and had an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion. In the 1940s, he earned a basketball scholarship to Placer College in Auburn and studied pre-medical courses. The junior college was relocated to Rocklin in the 1960s and renamed Sierra College. The Sorenson family lived in Lincoln and Sorenson mentions in his writings that, as a teen during the Great Depression, he worked in the peach cannery there. Sorenson invented the disposable surgical mask and disposable venous catheter and his companies hold approximately 50 patents. He is probably best known for co-developing the first real-time computerized heart monitor. He was also involved in genetic genealogy later in his life.