The Leatherman
The Legend of
the Leatherman
One of the most interesting pieces of Westchester County folklore is the living legend of the Leatherman.  The true story of the Leatherman is still shrouded in mystery and controversy.  However, even though we may never know the full story of this real person, numerous anecdotes and facts have been collected over the years and new stories about him are still emerging now, having been kept as part of oral history by various families within his territory.  Though not purporting to be a full documentation of his life, the information contained on this site may clear up some of the questions that a visitor to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation may have about the Leatherman.


In and around the time of the Civil War, around 1860, there were harmless and itinerant wanderers roaming the countryside, usually looking for work on various farms or perhaps a meal or a place in the barn for the night.  During this period, there appeared in the area of eatern Connecticut and Westchester and Putnam County, New York, a wandering hermit who was not to be
forgotten.  He came to the doors of farm kitchens, presenting a striking appearance with
his homemade leather outfit, asking for neither work nor lodging but making it clear that
he would accept a meal.  He did not speak but seemed to mumble incomprehensibly, and
made an impression on those who were generous to him by returning regularly every
month or so for another visit, and he kept these regular visits up all the year round
farmsteads, in some cases for more than 25 years.
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