The collection consists primarily of letters and cards from Harold Emmett Barr, writing from Cedar Pines Health Retreat, Oakhurst, California, to his mother, Sarah Ella Stowell Barr, who was residing in Riverside, California. The letters date between 1917 and 1939, with the bulk of the letters falling between 1937 and 1939, ending just days before Sarah's death.
The Barrs were Seventh-day Adventists and the letters often include mention of evangelistic meetings, sharing Adventist publications with others, listening to H. M. S. Richards on the radio, in addition to mentioning Adventist institutions such as St. Helena Sanitarium, Glendale Sanitarium, and Loma Linda Sanitarium and Hospital.
The letters from Harold are rich with his reports on his daily labors to get his health retreat up and running, the people who come to stay, the weather and other everyday topics. Harold inquires about the health food business in La Sierra, California and the need he has at his retreat for such and how to teach guests about meat substitutes.