Dan DeLuca has written a book about our esteemed Leatherman. The title is The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend. Contributing to the book was Dione Longley. It is published by Wesleyan University Press (ISBN 978-0-8195-6862-5).
Description from the book’s website: “In 1883, wearing a sixty-pound suit sewn from leather boot-tops, a wanderer known only as the Leather Man began to walk a 365 mile loop between the Connecticut and Hudson Rivers that he would complete every 34 days, for almost six years. His circuit took him through at least 41 towns in southwestern Connecticut and southeastern New York, sleeping in caves, accepting food from townspeople, and speaking only in grunts and gestures along the way. What remains of the mysterious Leather Man today are the news clippings and photographs taken by the first-hand witnesses of this captivating individual. The Old Leather Man gathers the best of the early newspaper accounts of the Leather Man, and includes maps of his route, historic photographs of his shelters, the houses he was known to stop at along his way, and of the Leather Man himself. This history tracks the footsteps of the Leather Man and unravels the myths surrounding the man who made Connecticut’s caves his home.”
If you ever wanted to learn more about the person who was the inspiration for the Leatherman’s Loop, you should read this book.
One of the Leatherman’s caves is right on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. It can be reached by a 3 mile round trip hike or a quick 1/2 mile round trip stop along Honey Hollow Road (parking is very limited, don’t block any blind curves or driveways!). Bring a flashlight to see the inner cave since it is pitch black once you squeeze through the entrance.