Robert Emmett Robertson Jr. dies

April 13, 1991

Services for Robert Emmett Robertson Jr., a retired major from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and consulting engineer, will be held at 11 a.m. today at Old St. Paul's Church, Charles and Saratoga streets.

Mr. Robertson, who was 83, died of heart disease April 1 at his home in Baltimore.

Born at Avalon on the Patapsco River, Mr. Robertson graduated from private schools in Philadelphia, Colgate College and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Later, as a civil engineer for the American Bridge Co., he worked on the Spuyten Deivel Bridge -- the first modern connection between Manhattan and the New York mainland.

Mr. Robertson took a commission in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and retired in 1946 as executive officer of the mid-Atlantic division to

found the consulting engineering firm of Saxe, Williar & Robertson, which was located in Baltimore at the Poultney House on Park Avenue and Hamilton Street.

At the time of his death, he continued to have a consulting practice in Maryland and Virginia. Mr. Robertson's ancestral history is a distinguished one.

His mother was of the last generation of the Ringgolds of Chestertown to inhabit "The Abbey," now the president's house for Washington College. Portions of its interior, designed by the noted Tidewater architect-builder William Buckland are installed at the Baltimore Museum of Art's American Wing and the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

He authored a monograph on "Fountain Rock," an early 19th-century Ringgold manor house in Washington County built by Benjamin Latrobe, a Baltimore architect and designer of the Basilica and an architect of the U.S. Capitol. It is now St. James' School.

Mr. Robertson was a descendant of John Hanson, president of the United States under the Articles of the Confederation; the Lloyd, Earle and Tilghman families of the Eastern Shore; the Biddles and Chews of Philadelphia; and Thomas Galloway of "Tulip Hill," South River, now a Smithsonian property; of Robert Tunstall Banks, the Reconstruction-era mayor of Baltimore during whose term the present City Hall was dedicated; and the Ball, Carter and Hill families of Northern Neck and James River, Va.

Mr. Robertson belonged to the Gibson Island Club and earlier to the Merion Cricket Club and Rosetree Foxhounds of Chester County, Pa.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Sunderland Rich, and a son, Robert E. Robertson III.

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