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The Old Leather Man
Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend
Dan W. DeLuca; Dione Longley, contrib.

Garnet Books

2008 • 232 pp. 111 illus. 26 maps. 8 x 11"
New England History

$35.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6862-5

$27.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7445-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“While this book offers up his life and times in the most complete manner as possible, the mystery of the Leather Man remains in tact.”—Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam

Fascinating documentation of a mysterious figure

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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“In The Old Leather Man, Dan Deluca, an independent historian, recalls the wanderings of a strange, tragic figure through hundreds of contemporary newspaper accounts. … His account is a compelling recreation of a curious chapter in regional history.”Boston Sunday Globe

“Deluca’s book is the definitive account of his life—a collection of newspaper clippings and a few surviving images, painstakingly wrung from microfilm in dusty corners of libraries all across the tri-state area … And the truth, as Deluca is proud to tell you, is that no one knows who the Leatherman was, least of all DeLuca. The process of piecing together the man’s life is what he really loves.”—Jon Campbell, The Village Voice

“[A] gem of local history built around one of the oddest characters ever to hike Connecticut and nearby New York.”Greenwich Times

“The Old Leather Man was an enigma in the later 1800s and remains so today. Dan Deluca has compiled his decades of research into a most comprehensive account, with photographs and maps of this mysterious, punctual, and unique character’s travels through New York and Connecticut.”—Nicholas Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist

“Through the words of the reporters, we gain insight into the Old Leather Man, and also into a 19th century view of a world now lost. We may never know who the Leather Man really was, but the world loves a good mystery, and this book delves into a tantalizing one.”—Gerald Sawyer, professor of anthropology, Central Connecticut State University

Author Photo

DAN DELUCA is a genealogist, a Meriden, Connecticut historian, and a retired high school teacher. He has been researching the Leather Man for twenty years and is the leading expert on the subject. DIONE LONGLEY is the former executive director of the Middlesex County Historical Society in Middletown, Connecticut.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:05:49 -0500