A newly identified work by the Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs, all of whose trademarks are visible here: the thistle decoration flanked by flowers, the fan patterns in the corners, and even the curled tail on the top of the lower-case g in age. Henry Huls was a private in the Revolutionary War; he is identified here as having served in the Washington County Militia, but that could only have been in the last few months of the war, since Washington County itself was formed in 1781.
This particular craftsman, active in Robinson Run Cemetery in the 1830s, sticks to one particular symbol, which Father Pitt interprets as a stylized thistle—emblematic of sorrow, but also emblematic of Scotland, perhaps the homeland of most of his patrons. Fan ornaments decorate the corners of all his stones.
Alexander and Isabella McClean’s headstones are good and well-preserved examples of his work. He also gave them footstones, which seem to have migrated a little from their original positions, but are still fairly close to the headstones they go with. The carving on the footstones looks a little hastier, although some of that may just be the smaller size.
The same artist made this stone for Elisabeth Moss. “The grave of,” incidentally, is a very unusual way to introduce a tombstone inscription around here, but it was obviously a family preference: Elisabeth Moss is buried in the same plot as the McBurneys, who, though their stones were cut by a different craftsman, both have inscriptions that begin with “The grave of…”