George W. Robinette: The Bone Collector

George W. Robinette was a fascinating Scott County figure. By 1900, he’d become a noted collector of many things. Robinette was born on May 26, 1842, and spent 3 years fighting in the Civil War. He survived 14 battles and skirmishes. He was 26 when he returned home and started a family. He first settled in Flag Pond, and then moved his family to Tennessee. He returned to his native Scott County later in life.

He collected various fossils, Native American relics, and other curiosities. His collection included a variety of military medals, seashells, unusual bird eggs, buttons from 1776 and 1812, as well as bullets from Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Seven Pines. His sizable stores included bills of sale from the days of slavery, pipes, and ancient “devil gods” that had been carved from hematite.

Initially, he didn’t intend to become a professional collector. He simply enjoyed exploring the countryside. He became known for his spelunking prowess even before his collections. Some of his most popular items include Roman, Greek, and Persian coins as well as flint pipes, which he made himself.

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