Tag: Folk Art

  • Amelia Huls Tombstone, Bethel Cemetery

    Amelia Huls

    An easily identified work of the Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs, whose trademarks are all present:

    • thistle decoration flanked by flowers
    • fan patterns in the corners
    • curled tail on the top of the lower-case g in age
    • “IN” in all capitals, “memory of” in all lower case, name in all upper case.

    Interestingly, there is a Henry Huls buried in the Peters Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, whose tombstone is also by the Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs. We therefore know of at least three cemeteries in which this fine craftsman worked.

    The inscription:
    memory of
    who departed this life
    April 16th 1836 in the
    49 year of her age

    This picture was taken in 2015.
  • Marian Fabiszewski Tombstone, St. Anne Parish Cemetery

    Marian Fabiszwski

    This is almost the archetype of the Slavic tombstone, with a fine folk-art crucifix to decorate it. With the help of Google, Wiktionary, and other Internet resources, we translate the Polish inscription thus:

    DIED MARCH 14, 1924.

    Say a Hail Mary for Me

  • Robert Long Tombstone, Bethel Cemetery

    Who departed this life
    August 1st 1832 aged 60
    Go home dear friends
    And cease from tears.
    Here I must lie
    Till Christ appears.

    W. Savage, Sculptor, Williamsport.

    We have seen another pair of tombstones in a similar style in the Bethany Cemetery near Bridgeville: the tombstones of Billingsley Morgan and his (illegible) wife, which were signed by H. Savage. Was H. Savage a brother or other relative of W. Savage? And if “Williamsport” means the only Williamsport Father Pitt knows of in Pennsylvania, then this stone was hauled across the mountains, which must have been quite expensive. Perhaps there was no one in the immediate area who could carve a stone of this quality in 1832—for it certainly is a splendid piece of folk art, well worth the trouble of hauling in from Williamsport. —Update: “Williamsport” was the former name of Monongahela, which is considerably closer than the Williamsport in central Pennsylvania.

  • Ross Foster Tombstone, St. Clair Cemetery

    A well-preserved tombstone in the “poster style,” as Father Pitt calls it, that was popular in the 1840s and 1850s. This one adds a very woodcutty weeping willow.

  • Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs

    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…”