Thursday, March 29, 2012

No One

Well, no one any more, that is.  Oh...that's the answer to who is buried in Rowe's tomb.

But there were some folks, probably with the name Rowe, buried there at one time!

I got to digging around the historical society's research room.  They have an entire loose-leaf binder containing an enlarged copy of the book, "Research in Rowe Search"!  And yes, there is a large section devoted to Major John Rowe AND several commentaries about THE tomb.

Within, quoted from "A County in Revolution" by R. N. Tagney:
"Bridge's regiment included John Rowe's company from Gloucester.  A detachment from Rowe's company carried off some of the entrenching tools.  When news came of the (British) landing, Putnam ordered the group, including Rowe, to the extreme end of the rail-fence on the left flank near the Mystic River, where they helped reinforce the rail-fence and construct a breast-work at the river bank with stones and dirt...the two division assault group moved toward the rail-fence under General Howe...the brave defenders witheld their fire until the red-clad troops had advanced well within the musket range.  Then they let loose a devastating volley, which shattered the line and caused the Redcoats to fall back in confusion."

Also, found in the binder is a copy of an article from The Salem Evening News, June 17, 1965, reading in part:
"He returned home, became a major in the militia, acquired his vast farm which included Pigeon Hill, and died in 1801.  His sword is on exhibit in the Old State House in Boston.  Years ago, an individual reports, youngsters were seen kicking bones down Rowe avenue(sic).  In a tomb, unmarked and its location known by few, Major Rowe was laid to rest.  Or was he?"
A map from "Research in Rowe Search"

Noted: "(The author later learned that John Rowe died 14 June 1801, at Ballston Spa, N.Y. and is buried there.  Other bodies in the tomb were removed to the parish cemetery.)"

Huh?  Other bodies?

And in a copy of a letter, included within the binder, written by Clara Swan, who lived on Pigeon Hill in 1965:
"I don't believe that  the bones the youngsters were kicking were from the tomb.  When the Granite Co. bought the land all the bodies in the tomb were moved to the Union Cemetery in Rockport..."

Aha!  Now all I need to do is make a trip down the road to Union Cemetery to find out who all those people were that were buried in Major John Rowe's Tomb!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who's Buried In Rowe's Tomb?

Yesterday, R and I made the last-of-the-season woods walk.  Too many nasty, illness-bearing ticks are becoming active.  Our last walk was to locate Major John Rowe's tomb.  Major John Rowe was a Revolutionary War veteran and some of our local maps...Forest Fire Department and the Eben'r Pool map are just two...mark the location of Major John Rowe's tomb.
My red mark shows the designation "Major John Rowe's tomb"

So we set out on our quest at the top of Rowe Avenue.  Our last visit to this area did not yield the discovery of the tomb.  Last time we found the remnants of a large quarry building and that was fun to explore and photograph.
Old stone building
A shot from inside the building

This time we found the tomb.  Or, at least, something very tomb-like in the area designated as THE tomb on the maps.
Tomb-like structure built into the hillside

The tomb has been opened.  And graffiti-ed inside.
Large, rectangular vault built from quarried stones and cement

Now, there is a problem with this entire tomb thing.  I did a bit of research about Major John Rowe and that research confirms the information on file at Find-A-Grave.

Birth:    Aug. 8, 1737
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
Death:   Jun. 14, 1801
Ballston Spa
Saratoga County
New York, USA
Revolutionary War veteran. Commanded a company of militia at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Note: Memorial stone (in Union Cemetery, Rockport). Major Rowe is buried in Briggs Cemetery, Ballston Township, New York.

Indeed.  So, if the Major is buried in New York and there is a memorial plaque at Union Cemetery in Rockport...what's up with Major John Rowe's tomb?

Who was buried in Rowe's tomb?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stated Again

You betcha!

In the mail today was a letter address to me from the state tax folks.  What now?

They chose to inform me that I had not paid enough in estimated taxes last year.  Yep, I know that.

They chose to inform me that they had calculated that I owed $10.88 in penalties and I would be receiving an assessment and a bill.  Um, wrong!

I already figured my penalty and included it on my tax form and in the check that I sent to them.

AHA!  A toll free number to call!

Mr. DOR says, "How can I help you?"

I say, "Today I received a letter stating that I owe a penalty.  I've already paid the penalty.  It was included in the check I sent.  That amount was added, per instructions, to the amount of tax that I owed.  My check was dated 3/8/12 and that is the date of payment on which I based my penalty."

Mr. DOR replies, "That does not show on your tax form."

I reply, "Yes, it does, it's on the bottom line where the form reads 'penalty'.  I then added that amount, as instructed, to the payment amount line."

Mr. DOR says, "Oh, I guess the machine didn't pick that up."

So I confirmed that I would owe nothing more.  Then I complained that they claimed my Mom hadn't filed her health care paperwork.  He said many would receive those letters...mistakenly.  So then I told him that my daughter's refund check had been sent to the wrong address.

Mr. DOR says, "You are having a time of it."

I wrote it all down, time, date, numbers, his name.........

(you can also see why I notsomuch love this state by going back a number of years to this post:
Yep, notsomuch love)

Friday, March 16, 2012

It Seems Like Forever...

since I've written a post and it really hasn't been that long.  Maybe the weather is to blame for my confusion.  Last Thursday I sat in the sun on our deck in shorts and a tee shirt,  70°.  Saturday it snowed 4 inches!  Monday I was back on the deck in shorts and tank top.
R suffering through the harshness of Saturday morning

The pace of work has settled nicely.  Just enough keywork and plenty of tunings.  Just answered the phone to a tech wanting to come pick up the keys I did for him.  I really hate being called "hon" by someone who shouldn't be calling me hon.  Yuck.

I've started on a project for myself.  With R's help, last June I purchased a Concert Roller Organ.  I have just completed recovering the bellows and will begin work on the valve mechanism.  The crankshaft/handle needs repair by a fussy machinist.  I'm currently searching out a fussy machinist.  I've been given one name and promised another contact that very well might end up being the same as the first.  We'll see when that name comes my way.

The tax people continue to infuriate me.  I added a comment on my last post about A's refund check being addressed incorrectly.  Today the state revenue folks have done it again.  My mom got a letter from them saying that her Form HC (health care form required by the state) was not complete or not received.  Ummmm, wrong.  Anyway, they will not send her refund until they are satisfied and if not satisfied have threatened all sorts of fines and penalties.  So, nothing to do but to fill the darn thing out AGAIN and mail it with the new form that they sent asking for a signature that their letter was received!  Now...I KNOW that the original form was sent to them.  I have a copy of it and the tear-out official form is no longer in the booklet.  I reread all the instructions...just to be sure that everything was filled out as it should it has been for the past umpteen's not, SS#, date of birth, income from line whatever, and two places to fill in bubbles.  That's it.  My first copy shows it all done.  I used that to copy for the original.  All tax forms get triple checked before mailing. 

Yes, I'm irritated.

We've still been walking in the woods and we've found the last of the Babson Boulders.  We had miscounted and actually had to find three instead of two.  It made for a rather strenuous 2 hour walk. 

 We also found Babson boulder Number 28.  Evidently we are the first to have discovered it!
This documentation of the well hidden Boulder Number 28 is now on display at Maria's Pizza where many photographs of Babson Boulders are hanging on the walls.

This past Sunday we walked along the path of the former incline railway that ran from Pine Pit to Bianchini Quarry.  It was a relatively short one hour round trip.  This coming Sunday we will either walk across the island, from Goose Cove Reservoir to Squam Hill or take a walk past Little and Big Pits (quarries) to find an abandoned stone house and the grave of a long ago Rockport native.
The old incline railway used for transporting cut granite from the quarries downhill (gravity) to the pier.  Empty cars were then hauled back up by oxen or locomotive.
A corner of Pine Pit.  It's hard to tell granite from water!

Next week is already filled with keys and tunings, then two historic society meetings and delivering two pieces of art work to the Rockport Art Association.  And on and on and on...

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Red, White and Blueness of Penalties

It's that taxing time of year again and I've been spending a lot of 'free' time working through three sets of taxes.  State and Federal for 'A', mom, and myself.  Mom's and 'A's are pretty straight forward.  It's just a matter of reviewing any tax changes that came up and double checking my math.

Mine, on the other hand...
I got hit hard this year.  It's not that I make a whole heck of a lot.  Actually, in the greater scheme of incomes, mine is pathetically minuscule.  However, I made more last year than I had anticipated.  That means that I didn't pay enough in estimated taxes and will be paying a minor penalty atop the amount I owe.  The totals put a bit of a crimp in my bank balance.  At least I have some in there to pay with! (I did realize, part way through the year, that I'd be owing more than usual and saved aside as much I could in preparation.)

So, I lose a customer AND get hit for tax money all within about a week.  At least my income should drop this year, back to where it normally rests at the bottom, so next year my taxes will go down!

And while I do hate having to pay out from the meager bank balance, I hate even more the hassle of figuring out the dollar amount of the penalty.  The Feds aren't too bad about it....took only 5 minutes or less to discover that I only owed in-the-neighborhood of a $10 penalty.  The State is vicious.  It's bordering on cruel and unusual punishment to fill out the form!

It works like this: With four columns of due dates...(each line below will have 4 entries)

Line 13. Enter the date you paid the amount in Line 12 or the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of the taxable year, whichever is earlier.

Line 14. Number of days from the due date of installment to the date shown in Line 13.

Line 15. Number of days in Line 14 after 4/15/11 and before 7/1/11.

Line 16. Number of days in Line 14 after 6/30/11 and before 10/1/11.

Line 17. Number of days in Line 14 after 9/30/11 and before 1/1/12.

Line 18. Number of days in Line 14 after 12/31/11 and before 4/16/12.

Line 19. Underpayment in Line 12 X (number of days in Line 15/365) X 5%.

Line 20. Underpayment in Line 12 X (number of days in Line 16/365) X 5%.

Line 21. Underpayment in Line 12 X (number of days in Line 17/365) X 4%.

Line 22. Underpayment in Line 12 X (number of days in Line 18/365) X 4%.

Line 23. Penalty.  Add the amounts shown in lines 19 through 22. (16 figures)  Enter this amount on Form 1, line 47......

Yep, all that to find out I owed a $9 penalty.

Time to take the rest of the day off.