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!


John0 Juanderlust said...

Kids using bones for playthings. Is that part of the recycling program out east? If it can be sold as green, CA will mandate that kids need to kick bones around for 15 min a day. I like it.

deb said...

It's part of the green space preservation plan. We don't like all the marble orchards. They're not a native species.

John0 Juanderlust said...

I'd think the stone sculptors would have a say in that. It is so much easier when you can just pick a slab of marble off the trees in your back yard or local park.

deb said...

With the "kick bones" policy we successfully rid our island of the nasty, invasive marble trees. However, the sculptors didn't have to look long or hard to find the granite that sends out guards to trip up the average hiker and frustrate all gardeners. We have sturdy granite orchards where others have pesky marble.