As the sign says: “1764 – Ossining’s oldest cemetery”. It’s located between Route 9 and Revolutionary Road, close to where they intersect.

The Ossining Daily Voice has a short but interesting article about Sparta cemetery.

One of the most fascinating inhabitants of Sparta Cemetery is The Leatherman. Wikipedia states:

The Leatherman (ca. 1839–1889) was a particular vagabond, famous for his handmade leather suit of clothes, who traveled a circuit between the Connecticut River and the Hudson River, roughly from 1856 to 1889. Of unknown origin, he was thought to be French-Canadian, or simply French, because of his fluency in the French language, his “broken English”, and the French-language prayer book found on his person after his death. His identity remains unknown, and controversial. He walked a 365-mile route (taking 34-36 days) in western Connecticut and eastern New York.

In 2011 the grave was moved. It was apparently too close to Route 9. Scientists gathered to take a look at, and perhaps perform an analysis on the Letherman’s remains. So little is known about him that they wanted to see if they could get any more information from the remains. Unfortunately they found no human remains, only coffin nails. The former grave had a headstone that read, with some certainty: “Final resting place of Jules Bourglay of Lyons, France, ‘The Leather Man’…”. I guess they are no longer so certain as the new gravestone reads only “The Leatherman”

Another interesting anecdote is associated with this wall. The plaque reads: “This stone was pierced by a cannon shot fired from the British sloop-of-war Vulture commanded by Lieut. Sutherland, 1780. Mohegan Chapter D.A.R places this tablet in memory of the event, May 1906”. This is of course connected to the story of Benedict Arnold and his attempt to sell out West Point and George Washington to the British. I’ve always been fascinated by Mr. Arnold. Had he died (as he almost did) at the Battle of Saratoga he would have gone down in history as one of the US’s greatest heroes. As it was, however, he’s known as their greatest villain. He’s also the only person I’ve come across who was a general on both sides in the same war.

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