Reburial of the Leatherman

The following teaser is from an AP article by Jim Fitzgerald in the May 25, 2011 edition of The Statesman.

OSSINING, N.Y. — A mysterious man who wandered New York and Connecticut in a 60-pound leather suit during the 19th century became a little more mysterious Wednesday.

Historians announced that all they found when they dug up the 1889 grave of the man known as the Leatherman was dozens of coffin nails.

“The Leatherman was a mystery in life and he’s going to be a mystery in death,” said Ossining Historical Society President Norman MacDonald.

The grave in Ossining’s Sparta Cemetery was being relocated because it was just a few paces from busy Route 9, and recent interest in the Leatherman was bringing more visitors to his resting place. MacDonald said the grave site had become dangerous.

Accounts of the nomad’s all-leather outfit, his quiet demeanor and his regular ways — he made a 365-mile loop through the same towns about every month — have fostered interest, although his name is unknown and he died 122 years ago.

Pearl Jam recorded a song about him, “Leatherman,” in 1998 describing him as “making the rounds 10 miles a day.”

Read the full article.

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