Until then, here's a wonderful article I came across yesterday. (I transcribed it so that the text is searchable.) (Also, I apologize retroactively for the 1850s-era racism.)
A Hermit on Buckingham Mountain.
There has been much talk the past two weeks, in many parts of this county, about a hermit who was discovered about ten days ago on Buckingham mountain, at the spot know as “Wolf Rocks.”
All sorts of stories, and the tallest kind of exaggerations, relative to the hermit and his secluded place, have been put in circulation.
It appears that the latter part of week before last a colored man was passing over the mountain, when he heard a noise among or under the rocks, as if it came out of the bowels of the earth; Sambo priced up his ear, listened for a moment, and being satisfied that it proceeded from some unearthly power, took to his heels and came down the side of the mountain like a locomotive on a bender, nearly frightened out of his wits.
He gave the alarm to several other colored men who were working in a quarry close at hand. They proceeded to the mountain, pioneered by the man who heard the terrible noise among the rocks, inhabited by a human being.
The negroes were warned off by the occupant of the cave, who threatened them with death if they made nearer approaches to his quarters, or gave information to any one else.
One of the colored men soon recognized the hermit, (who proved to be a man by the name of Albert Large,) and addressed him by name, and urged him to come out of his retreat.
The hermit stoutly denied that his name was Large, and stubbornly refused to hold any conversation with his visitors.
The colored men informed some of the old acquaintances and friends of Large, living in the neighborhood, who repaired to the mountain, some time afterwards, and prevailed upon the hermit to come out of his cave and commingle with the world. He then confessed that his name was Albert Large; that he long had a knowledge of the place and had made it a place of resort, at times, for the past thirty years, and, latterly, had entirely shut himself up in this rocky habitation during the day time, sallying forth at night to obtain food.
His chosen spot was a secluded place on the mountain, commanding a wide range of the surrounding country. His cave is completely hidden under the rocks, having a secret entrance. It consists of two apartments — one being used as a room to live in, the other as a cellar and pantry. There was a dividing door with jams, &c. The sides of the cave were lined with boards, and the interior arrangements had a tolerable air of comfort to one having a fancy for hermit life.
Ingress and egress were obtained by getting down on all fours and creeping under a rock.
The household arrangements of the hermit consisted of a variety of cooking implements, pots, kettles, &c., but their condition was not very inviting to any one having ideas of cleanliness.
An iron pot, in which was a quantity of cooked chicken, was standing in one corner of the face, evidently the leavings of a previous repast; among the articles especially noticed were a pot of butter, a bottle of whiskey, a large quantity of old clothing, &c.
The hermit looked more like a wild beast than a human being; his hair had grown down over his shoulders, his beard hung down upon his breast, his garments were tattered and patched, and general appearance was filthy and disgusting. Soon after he was discovered in his mountain home he divested his head and face of some of the great profusion of hair and in other respects improved his appearance.
The man Large labors under a great hallucination of mind, and at times is partially insane; he is quite and old man, goes where he pleases and perambulates the country at will.
He had been missed for the past three or four years, and it was generally supposed that he was dead or had taken a journey to a distant part of the country; but it seems he had been living as a hermit in our midst, secluded his whereabouts being unknown to any one. It is generally supposed that his cave in the rocks has been his principal place of resort for at least the past four years. — He has again strayed off, not relishing the curious gaze of the hundred of visitors who flocked to his retreat on the mountain, and rudely pried into the arrangements of the mysterious hermit. Indeed the crowd of visitors have laid rude hands on his property and home, carrying off or disturbing his domestic arrangement, in a wild spirit of curiosity. The poor old hermit could not stand such intrusion, and he has gone on the hunt of a new place where he can end his days in peace, in true hermit style. On Sunday, the 11th inst, several hundred people must have visited the mountain to see the hermit’s cave. It is now a place of public notoriety, and companies of the curious daily visit the spot, carrying away with them some relic — a piece of old coat, a rag, a tin-bucket, pieces of rock, &c., in the true spirit of romance, while the sable population who inhabit the mountain look on with great wonderment.
We are informed that Large, the hermit, has returned to this county, and is now staying with some of his friends in Buckingham. He has again assumed the habits of the out door world, having cut off his long hair and shaved his face, and seems happy and contented among his fellow creatures.