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In 1810 Johann Wilhelm Stolting was born in Heligoland (Germany) in the North Sea. He was well educated and spoke German, Greek, French and Hebrew. Although he was a teacher, linguist, scientist and landowner; at the end of his days he became a recluse, making buttons on a homemade lathe to support his few needs. The eccentric Stolting roamed the streets and woods and bathed in the Saw Mill and Hudson Rivers. In a small shed on his land overlooking the Saw Mill River valley, he slept in his own coffin made of local chestnut wood. Stolting was a fascinating figure, and became known as the Hermit of Irvington. He died in Irvington on January 10, 1888. His is the only marked grave in the village.

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