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Mystery tombstone lying in Durkee Brook

LACONIA — A white marble tombstone lying in Durkee Brook, just downstream from the bridge on Academy Street, is ridden with riddles.

The monument bears an inscription that reads "Mary E. Boyce, Wife of Charles H. Colby, Dec. 29" with the year, presumably of her death illegible. Suzanne Perley, who is in the process of editing and ordering the records of Bayside Cemetery, said that it was commonplace from around 1800 until the 1930s to remember a wife by her maiden name when inscribing her gravestone.

When the tombstone was reported to police, they suspected it had been taken from a gravesite in Union Cemetery across the street. However, John Perley, Suzanne's huband, president of the Union Cemetery Association, said there was no record that either a Mary E. Boyce or a Charles H. Colby was buried in the cemetery.

Suzanne Perley said that a Mary M. Boyce and a Charles F. Colby are buried there in separate plots in different sections of the cemetery and both headstones are still in place. But, she said there is no record of either a Mary E. Boyce or Charles H. Colby.

There are four other cemeteries in the city: Meredith Bridge , Hillside, St. Lambert's and Sacred Heart. The Parks and Recreation Departments maintains Meredith Bridge Cemetery at Cook's Court and Hillside Cemetery on Mechanic Street. Kevin Dunleavy said he was not aware of any missing tombstones, but would check his records. Those responsible for St. Lambert's Cemetery and Sacred Heart Cemetery have yet to be identified or contacted.

Meanwhile, genealogical records report that a Charles H. Colby, who was born in Canterbury, New Hampshire in 1840, married a Mary Boyce, then aged 17, on December 18,1861. There is no mention of her middle initial. The record cites  Colby died in 1898 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Penacook, which lies within the city of Concord. There is no record of when Boyce died or where she was buried.

Meanwhile, there is a very heavy stone marking the grave of Mary E. Boyce resting in the bed of Durkee Brook, not at her head where it belongs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:18

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Correction: Visit to Arbo Ministries property will be conducted on August 27

CORRECTION: The Gilford Planning Board site walk of the Arbo Ministries property at 14 Curtis Road is scheduled for August 27 at 4 p.m. The matter will be discussed at the board's next meeting on September 8. The date of the site walk was incorrectly reported in an article that ran on Page 1 of Wednesday's paper.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 01:09

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Belmont sobriety check point nets 1 DWI arrest

BELMONT — The Regional DWI task force comprised of police from Belmont, Northfield, Sanbornton, Tilton and the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement stopped 326 motorists during its checkpoint Friday night on Daniel Webster Highway (Rte. 3)

Police charged one person and DWI second offense and operating after revocation; one driver with operating after revocation -second offense; one person with transportation of drugs in a motor vehicle; and two people for having an open container.

A drivers were also cited for driving an un-inspected vehicle and one was cited for operating without a valid license.

Mann said the average time a driver spent at the check point was less than one minute.



Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 01:06

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Shaheen takes pulse of marine industry during stop in Laconia

LACONIA — United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen took the pulse of the tourist and boating industries yesterday while cruising the waters of Paugus Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee aboard a pontoon boat skippered by John Irwin of Irwin Marine.

Before casting off, Shaheen sampled the history of boating in the Lakes Region in the office of Jack Irwin, which is lined with photographs, clippings and other mementos recalling the Irwin family's many contributions to the marine heritage of the Lakes Region. Irwin told her how his father, Jim Irwin, brought the big bands to his Winnipesaukee Garden Ballroom and the MS Mount Washington to the lake.

Describing ethanol as "a big problem," Irwin, together with Ryan Crawford of Winnisquam Marine, the president of the New Hampshire Marine Trades Association, explained that gasoline laced with ethanol is not suited for marine engines because of its propensity to attract water while generating less energy than motors running at relatively high RPMs require to operate efficiently. They suggested steps should be taken to ensure production and distribution of gasoline with little or no ethanol for the boating industry as more ethanol is added to automotive fuel.

Crawford, along with Amy Landers, executive director of the Lakes Region Tourism Association, her counterparts at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Karmen Gifford, and Belknap Economic Development Council, Justin Slattery, and Jodies Grimblas of the New Hampshire Marine Trades Association joined Shaheen on the cruise along the bay and out onto the big lake through the Weirs Channel.

The senator learned that the 262 recreational boating businesses in the state employ almost 3,000 people and have an aggregate annual economic impact of nearly $761 million. Crawford and Landers said that the summer season has gone well, despite starting late after a long winter.

Shaheen said that she was working to reauthorize the Tourist Promotion Act, which funds the "Brand USA" program, a promotional effort aimed primarily at attracting visitors from abroad. She noted that often foreign visitors during slack seasons when the additional business is most welcome.

In particular, Crawford said that marinas have taken a number of steps to offer recreational boating to an ever broader number of people. He said almost any type of vessel can be rented, while the costs of owning and operating a boat have been reduced. Storing boats indoors in racks has lessened the need for costly docks and slips, while sparing the shoreline environment. With a phone call two hours in advance, he said that boat owner could arrive at the marina to find his boat in the water. Likewise, he said that owners who trailer their boats represent about half the traffic at Winnisquam Marina. Boating, he stressed, has become a family affair for all ages.

Noting that because of the scarcity of waterfront property and stringency of environmental regulation, Crawford said that few if any new marinas would be built on the lakes. Most of the existing marinas, he continued, are relatively small, family-owned businesses.

Both Crawford and John Irwin said the costs of government regulation and health insurance have become significant burdens for the boating industry. Irwin said that his firm employed 79 people, but has shrunk to 50 employees to avoid a tripling of its health insurance costs with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. At Winnisquam Marine, where 35 to 40 are employed and the employer contributes 60 percent of the premium cost, Crawford expects costs to rise 30 percent next year.

Shaheen acknowledged that "there are things that need to be fixed," while noting that the pace of cost increases has slowed and there will be greater competition in the New Hampshire health insurance market next year with the participation of more carriers.

Shaheen is up for re-election this fall.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:59

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