About the Homestead
Eddyville, Middleboro, Massachusetts
In 1962, descendants of the Eddy Pilgrims of 1630, and other Pioneer Eddys of the 1600's organized the Eddy Homestead Association to preserve this graceful, historic house and use it to display valuable family mementos that have been discovered over the years. Unlike many similar houses, which were originally the abodes of the wealthy aristocracy, the Eddy Homestead represents gracious country living of Zachariah Eddy, a country lawyer of fine character and practice. The house has been attractively restored since 1962, with many interesting exhibits now on display.
AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC EDDY HOME
WHERE GENEALOGY ADDS LIFE TO HISTORY
Built in 1803
THE ZACHARIAH EDDY HOMESTEAD
By Sylvia T. Breck
"Located in Eddyville, at the Four Corners, stands the impressive homestead of Zachariah Eddy, built in 1803 by his father, Captain Joshua Eddy, as a wedding present to Zachariah, when he married Sarah Edson, daughter of Polycarpus and Lucy Edson. It was also built as an enticement for Zachariah to move from Plymouth back to paternal land.
When built it stood on "about half or three fourths an acre of land* and the house consisted of four rooms. On this same amount of acreage, Zachariah built the stable and the law office. Over the next few years, he added the kitchen and woodshed, as well as the stone fences. He continually purchased land, mainly from his brothers who had inherited it from their father, Joshua. When completed, Zachariah's land holdings consisted of about 100 acres and according to his Commonplace Record Book he estimated that his total estate had cost him $6000.
Construction in those days was truly from raw material, for not only were the trees felled on the property, but the massive 12x12 beams were all hand hewn at the family's sawmill and the wooden pegs and nails were likewise handmade. Sheer human strength and energy put the beams in place and their uprightness today attests to the quality of the workmanship.
As the Homestead passed to Zachariah's heirs, changes and improvements continued to be made, each enhancing the property or benefiting the needs of the owner.' The library was added; the dining room was extended, a sleeping porch was built above it. Two rooms were added over the carriage shed, back stairs were installed, and in later years one bedroom was reduced in size to make room for a bathroom.
Through all of these changes, the Homestead lost none of its charm, for each owner obviously kept very much in mind the original four rooms which were a foundation for the future. It has known love, life, tragedy, happiness and sadness but through it all came a family united, guided by God."
"There's a story that goes with it!" - is certainly true of the Eddy Homestead. It comes from the Eddy Genealogies that tell of family lore of 400 years ago. And Eddys helped make early history in five nearby towns in eastern Massachusetts, and thereafter in many parts of the U.S.A. Family mementos go back almost 400 years, each with its contribution of history or mystery that ties in with America's own history and growth. The story is there - for a fascinating hour or two, or for years of study.
"The Eddy Homestead is a symbol of the people and the ideas and the things that have gone before . . . Not as a lifeless collection of valuable treasures, but as a source of inspiration and high ideals that can make for better family life and education and knowledge and activities and human relations . . . Thus will it enlighten the future of all who contact it and learn Of its hidden values . . . May it long continue. as a shrine in Eddyville, and in our hearts as a standard, of which we strive to be worthy." A Homestead Association member
The photograph below was taken in 1880. Note Z. Eddy's round roofed law office at the right. in 1929 it was moved to Storrowton in the Eastern States exposition Fair Grounds in West Springfield, Mass to become part of that New England Village restoration.
"If the America we love continues her favored way among nations, it will ever be because of those very qualities woven into the fabric of our nation's life by our ancestors in old New England. Thence comes the clear stream of true Democracy that makes America's story. Thence springs the path for Liberty's sure progress in the earth. Thence burns like a clear flame the reverence for God that has lifted the Anglo-Saxon race to world leadership. Thence will ever flow streams of inspiration that shall guide their loyal descendants upon the untried paths of the future . . . We accept those obligations which you our ancestors have passed on to us in the building of a nation in the fear of God and in behalf of the Brotherhood of Man." David Brewer Eddy
The Eddy Homestead and its displays, combine in a fascinating way, the genealogy of a family, with family history and exhibits dating back to the late 1500's. The following are representative of the many interesting and famous people touched upon:
Col. Jonathan Eddy of the Revolution, famous for the Eddy Rebellion at Fort Cumberland, N.S '
Gen'l. Manton Sprague Eddy, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Occupation Forces in Germany, 1950-53.
Col. Ernest Eddy Haskell, Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War.
George Sherwood Eddy, missionary, author and lecturer.
David Brewer Eddy, brother of the above, and President of the Eddy Family Ass'n. 1920-1946.
Cephas Thompson, famous artist of Middleboro.
Dr. Rufus Hathaway, artist and physician of Duxbury, Mass.
Study and research over the years have brought to light many intriguing mysteries amidst all this material, some solved and some not. That is one of the reasons why "Genealogy adds life to History!l'