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Who Was the Hermit Nicknamed 'Leatherman'? [PICS]

Westchester Historical Society/Village Voice

Back in the 1850s, a mysterious hermit was spotted walking through town and making shelters in the wilderness.

The curious-looking man known as "Leatherman" was clad in a handmade leather suit that was built from a patchwork of leather pieces.

Who was this lone traveler who made his home in the wilds?

Not much is known of this unique hermit. Compiled newspaper clippings and writings from the late 1850s suggest citizens of eastern New York and Connecticut began to notice a man walking through the towns at the same time every 30 days, like clockwork. It is said the local farmers even set their clocks to his arrival.


He would come through an area, and sometimes wolf down a meal. There were many town legends and myths surrounding this vagabond.

Leatherman lived in rock crevices and shelters out in the wilderness. What is really interesting is that he wore a handmade leather outfit that is said to have weighed 60 pounds.

This was the outfit that earned him the nickname "Leatherman."


Leatherman's solo travels were chronicled for 30 years. He barely spoke but made gestures or grunted when asking for food.

People noticed a pattern in his wanderings. It is believed that he probably walked a 365-mile-long loop and did it in 34 days.

He died as he lived, all alone in his own handmade shelter. Lip and jaw cancer caught up with him in 1889.


So who really was the hermit called "Leatherman"? What did he see and experience in his travels through the countryside as a hermit and a woodsman?

All of the secrets seem to have died with this mysterious man. Rest in peace, solitude wanderer.

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Who Was the Hermit Nicknamed 'Leatherman'? [PICS]