Story of “Jerome” Remains Unsolved

By: D.L Scotney

Found On Beach Legless, Silent

Aylesford—For centuries the earth has held many mysteries of gold and hidden treasure. From its recesses have been unearthed numerous relics of the past and men have explored its expanse for treasures yet to be found. But 50 years ago the secrets of the earth were reversed as its broad arms closed on the last chapter of a mystery which probably will never be solved.

A man called “Jerome” became the most widely written about person in Nova Scotia and one who will never be forgotten by residents of Digby, the vicinity in which he lived for over 50 years.

When he died in 1908 and was buried in Meteghan, the secret of who he was and where he came from died with him. For 54 years, from the day he was found by a fisherman on the Digby shore, a part of a man with his legs amputated, he lived there among them but not one sentence did he speak in all those years nor in any way reveal the secret of his identity.

His fame spread as the “legless mystery man” whom all knew as Jerome but none could solve the mystery of this man.

Little clues such as how intently he would watch on days when the stagecoach would bring in the mail, and the few words that he spoke led nowhere.

Many reasons were brought forward for the marooning of Jerome—some said he was an heir being put out of the way and others a nobleman whose estate was confiscated. Storied of mutiny on board ship were offered but no proof could be found.

It is said that researchers ferreted out the fact that a ship had transferred a legless man from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia but no records could prove it.

Where did the stranger come from in the first place and who was he? Fifty years have now passed since Jerome’s death and the earth closed on a story that will never be forgotten in Nova Scotia but handed down as one of the greatest mysteries the province has ever known.

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