Derby History Quiz

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"The Leatherman"

Though there is still some uncertainty, it is believed that the man pictured above, Jules Bourglay, was born in Lyons, France, but an economic depression there caused his business to fail. He eventually surfaced in America drifting through Connecticut and New York for about 30 years starting about 1859. He walked a clockwise circuit of 365 miles every 34 days between the Connecticut and Hudson Rivers. One of his regular stops on his journey was Derby where he was well known and easily recognized because of his rather odd dress. Though his final resting place is near Ossining, NY, his portrait hangs prominently in the Derby Public Library.

In recent years, some researchers have called his identity into question. We can't prove his background, but his portrait does hang on the wall on the first floor of the Derby Public Library and the Leatherman has evolved as a mainstay of "Derby's historic folklore as attested by the many people who responded correctly to this quiz.

We want to thank Marian O'Keefe, curator for the Derby Historical Society for suggesting this quiz and providing much of the information above.

Correct answers were received from: Ann Searles, Nick from Terryvile, Millie from Ansonia, Randy Ritter, Ryan Downs, Jack Vagnini, Jim Bartlett, Joe Melewski, Mary Suess, Rick Schreiner, Tim Hession, Renee Mercede, Stephanie Anne, D'onofrio,  Jeffrey Bell, Mary Ellen Slywka, Ralph Gaudino, Carol Sojka, Terry Snell, Don Sanderson, Ken Dupke, Markanthony Izzo, John Marganski, Paul Comkowycz, John Kowarik, John Rak, Bob Ahearn, Ernie Blackwood, Margo Bondi, Fred Grant, Carlos Cifuetnes, Richard Chromik, Jack Skelding, Paul Dinice Jr., MaryAnn Meyer, Frank Colonese, Norman Roberts, James Allaire, Mary Lou Boroski, Eileen Krugel,  Anne Reilly, Sal Frosceno, and Davida Kosa.

Partially correct answers were received from: Ozzie ( Neustaedter) Ben - Ezra from Israel, Stanley from Georgia, Raymond Petrillo, Jack O'callaghan, and H. G. Jacobs. 

To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.

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