Leather Man' to be exhumed from Ossining
The obscurity behind a 19th-century, leather-clad wanderer who traversed Westchester County and Connecticut for more than 30 years may soon be unearthed.
A recent state Supreme Court ruling will allow a team of scientists to exhume the body of the "Leather Man," a legendary figure who was buried at Ossining's Sparta Cemetery in 1889 and whose true identity continues to stir intense speculation.
"He is one of this country's major historical mysteries," said Ossining Historical Society President Norman MacDonald. "Not only can we give this man a more dignified resting place, but we hope to find out a lot more about him."
The Ossining Historical Society, as owners of Sparta Cemetery, sought the court order so forensic testing could be conducted on the Leather Man's remains and also to rebury him elsewhere on the 2-acre site, MacDonald said.
Presently, the Leather Man is buried in a "pauper's grave," mere steps from busy Route 9 and, as such, a safety hazard. The second-hand headstone — another man's name is etched on the back — sits alone, removed from other plots, at the cemetery's entrance and is easily missed.