Local reenactor continues efforts to honor veterans


By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

Reenactor fires musket. Smoke billowing from musket. American flag draped over tomb in the background.
Tim Tonner fires his musket near the tomb of Revolutionary War veteran Robert Eames. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough resident Tim Tonner spent part of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, quietly honoring Robert Eames, a Revolutionary War veteran who was reinterred at Wilson Cemetery in town back in 2019. 

Tonner laid an American flag over the front of Eames’ tomb and reset an informational placard near the tomb that had been knocked over. 

A member of the Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute, Tonner wore full colonial garb and fired a single ceremonial shot from his musket to honor Eames. 

“[Eames] was [not only] a husband, a father and a patriot, but a townie, who lived it for real, and gave us our freedom to live in a free society today,” Tonner said during that reinterring ceremony in December of 2019. 

Eames’ Revolutionary War service

Eames marched to Cambridge and participated in the Siege of Boston following the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, according to multiple historical accounts by individuals including Matthew Sargent of the Marlborough Historical Society. Eames later served for several months in the Continental Army in 1777.

Sign on tomb reads "Robert Earns 1738-1821 Soldier of the Revolution"
Robert Eames lies in a recently restored tomb at Marlborough’s Wilson Cemetery. (Photos/Dakota Antelman)

Well over 200 years after those days, though, Eames’ tomb had fallen into disrepair. 

A wide ranging effort finally helped restore the tomb in 2019.

Tonner has marked major events like Veterans Day and Patriots Day with musket volleys at Eames’ tomb particularly since the completion of Eames’ tomb restoration. 

Though he came alone this Veterans Day, he said he was glad to still honor one of Marlborough’s revolutionary Patriots.

Honoring Gold Star family

With a faint puff of gunpowder still hanging in the air following his visit to Eames’ tomb, Tonner loaded his musket back into his car and proceeded with his day. 

A friend who operates a local business had noticed a gold star family license plate on an employee’s car, indicating that the employee had a loved one who had died while on active duty in the US military, Tonner said.

That friend wanted to do something special for his employee on Veterans Day. So, he invited Tonner to visit for another ceremonial musket volley. 

“I’d like to say I fired for the Gold Star plate, and all vets, those with us, and those who are not, who stepped up, from the Revolutionary War forward,” Tonner wrote in a text message to the Community Advocate hours later.

Reenactor loads musket
Tim Tonner loads his musket prior to firing. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)


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