by Keith and Gladys Hunt
Eliza Hodeck Beach lived with her family at Prentiss Bay from 1886 to 1985. Her Papa ran the saw mill during those years. The Hodeck family also kept the Boarding House, a center of activity with a small store and the post office at one end of the building. It was located approximately where the camp laundry now stands.
Each year Mr. Hodeck sought out and hired a school teacher for Prentiss and it was often difficult to get anyone for more than three or four months. Then Mrs. Hodeck would take over and teach the children the remaining part of the year. In 1895 the Hodock family moved by steamer tug (the only transportation available) to Cedarville where the Hodeck House eventually became the Cedar Inn. In 1902 Eliza Hodeck married John Beach. She remained a resident of the Cedarville area all her life. Look for Hodeck and Beach streets in Cedarville.
We first met Eliza Beach in 1959 when Cedar Campus was just beginning its operation. She went to be with the Lord in 1973, but in the nineteen intervening years she became Mom Beach to us, a stalwart friend, a great lady and most faithful prayer warrior. She prayed daily for Cedar Campus and for us. We often stayed in her home, which she shared with her daughter Doris, when we came for winter or early spring visits. She loved the woods, the water, birds, and wild flowers. She made delicious brown bread and wild strawberry jam which she shared generously. Her strong Christian leadership in the Cedarville [First] Union Church, as well as in the community, marked her as a good and loving woman.
She came to visit us at Cedar Campus from time to time and walking around the site she would suddenly spill out memories of her girlhood (some of which you can read in the "Story of Cedar Campus" books on display in both lodge lounges). She told us whose house had been where, about the school house that stood near our present canoe racks [between the main Old Mill Point dock and the beach], about the Indian children she played with who summered on [Whitefish] Point, about Christmas at the Boarding House and sleigh rides down to Steamboat Rock [at the entrance to the Narnia Trail], about the smell of freshly sawed pine.
Her prayer investment in the lives of the students who came here is beyond our comprehension. She was always interested in them and felt that the whole community was blessed by their presence. She knew how to pray, and her commitment to this place she loved as a girl makes it a very fitting thing indeed that this building be named in her memory. Her daughter Doris, living in Cedarville, has taken up her concerns since Mother Beach went to be with Christ at the age of 90.
Eliza Beach was buried one August afternoon in a polished oak casket from the church in Cedarville. Standing in that small cemetery in the warm summer sun we agreed with others in the village that it was a fitting bier -- for she was a strong oak in the house of God in this community. And we loved her.
Beach Cabin was constructed and dedicated in 1979.