THE TEMPLE OF ELI
by Levi Hoag (about 1848)
Referring to Eli Beede, 1803-1890 (John3, Jonathan2, Eli1)
Hail thou stupendous work of art
Thou mighty structure reared apart;
From meaner powers which cannot claim
Thy glorious death to matchless fame.
With awe, and wonder, I behold,
Thy model seats, thy white-washed walls,
Unrivalled in the Gothic Halls;
Thy form and style of architecture,
Unknown in any nomenclature,
Thy fancied coat of fiery red,
Thy broad expanse of lime o'er head,
They forum where the select three
Proclaim themselves the power that be,
And even that mysterious hold,
Where Eli, as I've oft been told,
Was seen one dark tempestuous night,
To raise aloft his towering height,
And in deep thunder tones to swear
By all the gods of upper air,
To visit with unutterable woe,
The luckless wretch who dares to mar,
Thy glory by the faintest scar.
Great Jove, with what shall I compare
A work so wonderful and rare!
From high limpie sphere of light,
To Plato's realms of endless night,
Around the world, through every clime,
From ancient down to modern time;
In Christian, or in Pagan land,
Was ever known a work so grand.
Immortal work the scroll of fame,
Will ever bear thy builders' name,
Though Pompeii's pillars rise and fall,
As well as China's mouldering wall,
Though pyramids along the Nile
With Bunker's monumental pile,
Shall yield to time's relentless hand,
And leave no relic where they stand,
But thou great work of human skill,
From age to age endureth, still,
Will yet become from humblest birth,
The proudest monument of earth.
"About 1840 this was the homestead of Eli Beede. How much earlier he came here we do not know. He was a very tall man and frequently rode on the back of a donkey, but his legs were so long that there was always some ground for wondering whether he was riding or walking astride the animal. He was a carpenter by trade, and took a hand in building the Town House at Skinner's Corner... For the sake of throwing still more light upon this wonderful building discussed at that time and of perpetuating the fame of the builder, Eli, and also to prove that the Muse once had a home in and fondness for Sandwich, we offer a poem which was written by Levi Hoag about the time of the building of the Hall in 1848.
In December, 1852, Eli Beede sold his place to Daniel Q. Bean and moved away to Rochester N. H. It is not likely that Bean lived here, for within a very short time he sold to Beede Varney, who owned until 1856, when he sold to James B. Goodwin. Goodwin kept until January 13, 1864, at which time he sold to James and James R. Bryer. It is said of Goodwin, that when he moved, he used a pair of Devon cows on lead. Here James Bryer lived until his death in 1885, and James R. Bryer until or after selling to Mrs. Mary Locke d'Este of Salem, August, 1905. Upon the death of Mrs d'Este the place passed to her husband, Julian d'Este, who has made extensive alterations and repairs. It is owned by four of the d'Este heirs, but used as a summer home by the son, Julian L. d'Este of Montclair, N. J."
From Twelfth Annual Excursion, Sandwich Historical Society
[date unknown], pages 20-21,
from the article Points of Interest, "(41) Bryer or D'Este Place"
[Article courtesy of Phil Graham, of Bethesda, MD, a BEEDE descendant]