In all the 30 years that he trekked through the area, he was never known to have uttered so much as a single word. He would make an occasional grunting sound at best. He corresponded using only head nods and hand gestures. Unlike most wanderers in the 1800's who sought work for pay or food, the Leatherman would only accept food as a gift. Sometimes children would give him coins, but he always gave them back by leaving them on a rock or fence post.

The town of Forrestville was not one of his favorite places as on one day in 1887 he was assaulted by two men who had been trying to get him to talk. After all attempts failed, the molesters threw him in a water filled horse trough.

Near the intersection of Hill Road and Route 118 is an old cave known locally as "The Leatherman's Cave". This was only one of his stops in the local area. He was known to have been a regular at Burlington's Tory Den and also at a cave in Thomaston.

His entire trip was approximately 360 miles and he did it doing about ten miles a day, always in a clockwise direction.

Over a period of time, the care and feeding of the Leatherman became a mark of distinction and privilege. People who lived along his route competed for the honor of providing his meals and the child who could boast that "my folks feed the Leatherman" was the envy of all his or her classmates in school. If there was an important event, such as a church social, scheduled on the day the Leatherman was due to come through, attendance was reduced because people who didn't stay home to feed the visitor might lose the honor next time around. Children, particularly, were strongly attracted to the eccentric walker and often accompanied him for short distances, he on one side of the road and they on the other.

As late as 1977 one 96-year-old Woodbridge woman who vividly recalled seeing the Leatherman when she was a child of four remembered the strong reaction of people in her neighborhood as he approached. Said Mrs. Mabel Hotchkiss Perry: "He looked strange, awful funny, but I wasn't afraid of him. Everything he wore seemed massive. He headed for the Judge house to get some food and the first thing I know, they were yelling from the kitchen, 'Here comes the Leatherman.' Then quick as lightening, three heads appeared in the doorway. Then he went back to the main road and went north toward Naugatuck."

Another elderly woman who, as a child, attended the little school on South Chippens Hill in Bristol, recalled that her teacher used the Leatherman as in incentive for the children to work for higher marks. Those achieving the best grades would be rewarded by being allowed to bring in something for the tramp on "Leatherman Day." On the inevitable day, when word was passed that the Leatherman was coming, the teacher dismissed the school and the children would line up outside. Then the child with the highest grade was permitted to step forward and offer the gift he or she had brought. The Leatherman would always come over, accept the gift without comment, nod his thanks and continue on his way. There are many who claim that in his time the old Leatherman was the best-fed, if not the most honored person in Connecticut.

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