Man forced from cabin after decades of living in woods – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-08-05 11:29:31 –

Canterbury, New Hampshire (AP) — For almost 30 years, 81-year-old David Lidstone lived in the New Hampshire Forest along the Merrimack River in a small hut decorated with solar panels. He grew his food, cut his wood, and took care of his pets and chickens.

However, his off-the-grid presence was challenged in court by real estate owners who said he was crouching for all those years. And to exacerbate the Lidostone problem, his hut was burned to the ground Wednesday afternoon in a flame being investigated by the local government.

Lidstone, or “River Dave,” known for boating and kayaking, was imprisoned on July 15 for civil insult. He was told that he would be released if he agreed to leave the cabin, but he remained in place.

“You brought a gun, arrested me, and brought me here. You have all my possessions. Lidstone appeared in court Wednesday morning and was a judge. “I will sit here in your uniform until I rot, Sir.”

Lidstone has been accused of crouching for 27 years in a privately owned cabin in Canterbury. The wooden double-decker A-frame cabin had a small cluttered kitchen, pots hanging from the ceiling, some appliances, and windows with curtains. His pouch had a footstool with a base made of stacked beer cans. He turned a wood stove into a beehive. He attached clothesline lights, mirrors and pulleys to the logs that support the cabin. There was a pile of firewood.

Nearby was a gravel road leading to a plot of vegetable garden surrounded by logs and some berry bushes. Lidstone got water from a stream.

In court, Judge Andrew Schulman of the Merrimack County Superior Court agreed that Lidostone had not hurt anyone, but said the law was clearly on the side of the landowner.

“You have a lot of sympathy for it because you’re doing yourself in Live Free or Die,” he said. “But there is a lot of weight on the other side of the balance sheet, not just what the (landowner) wants to do on the land, but the weight I feel to support the court’s decision and the rule of law.”

Jody Gedeon, an avid kayaker who became friends with Lidostone about 20 years ago, has helped him with other supporters, including organizing the petition movement and raising funds to cover property taxes. rice field.

“I’m devastated,” she said when she learned about the fire.

“He’s a really, really, really caring person, he just chose to live off the grid,” she said in an interview last week. “It’s really about humanity, it’s really about compassion and empathy … he doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Gideon and other supporters came to the town’s selection committee on Monday. Board members said the town is not currently running for property disputes.

But even if there was a way to keep the lidstone in place, it would be a difficult battle. His home violated local and state zoning and environmental regulations and had no access to the road.

“You are confused, and so are we,” said selection committee member Robert Steenson.

The forest lidstone, called home, was just a few miles from Interstate 93. But it was hidden in the trees. 73 acres were used to harvest the timber. This property has been owned by the same family since 1963. There are no development plans at this time.

The landowner was trying to destroy the hut before the fire.

Lidstone claimed that many years ago the owner gave his words, but nothing in writing. But in the eyes of the current owner, he is a squatter and needs to go.

Leonard Giles, 86, a real estate owner in South Burlington, Vermont, discovered in 2015 and expressed concern about solid waste and septic tank waste disposal and potential zoning breaches. I didn’t even know that Lidostone was there. According to Giles’ complaint in 2016, it was created by the structure.

Lidstone, an elaborate man with a small bearded picture frame, has resisted efforts to leave since the judge ordered him to leave in 2017. Later, both sides tried to reach some agreement for him, but failed. According to court documents.

The judge suggested on Wednesday that Giles and town officials would work with the mediator, but Giles’ lawyer said logistics was very difficult.

Giles lawyer Lisa Snow Wade said Wednesday night that most of Lidostone’s personal belongings had been removed from the cabin before the fire. According to Canterbury Fire Chief Michael Gamaches, several annexes remained and no animals ran around or died.

Lidostone, without a lawyer, claimed that his hut was not a home, but a hunting and fishing camp. He also claimed that Giles did not own the property, but was under pressure from the town.

“He’s a nice old man. I talked to him several times. It’s not his fault, it’s not my fault,” he said in a hearing. “Stepping on small people like me is lying and tricking a corrupt judge like you. But I’m telling you, Sir, you step on me So I’m going to bite your ankle. “

If any of three things happened before the fire, the lidstone could be released: he agreed to leave, the cabin was demolished by Giles, or he was imprisoned. 30 days have passed since. Another hearing was scheduled for next week, but the situation at Lidstone wasn’t immediately clear.

Gamache said the cabin was “almost collapsed” when the firefighters arrived at an off-road utility vehicle in a two-mile forest. He said the state fire marshal office was asked to investigate the cause of the fire.

Lidstone has no other contact with law enforcement agencies, unlike the case of a man called the “North Pond Hermit” in Maine. The man also lived in the forest for nearly 30 years and was found guilty of multiple robbery and theft in 2013.

For years, a U.S. Air Force veteran and four fathers who made money as foresters, Lidstone invited kayaks and boaters to his home to talk about life in the wild. Known for sharing.

Lidostone’s decision to live in the woods is “just the lifestyle he wants,” said Vincent Lidostone, 77, brother of Lafayette, Georgia.

“What they are doing to him, whether he is my brother or someone else’s brother, is not right for anyone,” he said. “He is 81 years old. Leave him alone.”

Vincent Lidostone said he had lost contact with his brother for years, but explained how they and their cousins ​​enjoyed spending time outdoors. They grew up in Wilton, Maine.

“We lived in the woods,” he said. “We camp, fish and hunt. The three of us did it all together for years.”

It is unknown where Lidstone will go. Vincent Lidostone said he had no resources to help him. The Associated Press contacted two of his three sons. They said they hadn’t been in contact with their father recently. His daughter did not respond to the message asking for comment.

Prior to the fire, Gedeon said the issue had not yet been discussed by her group.

“We want him to survive the rest of the year he is,” she said.

Man forced from cabin after decades of living in woods Source link Man forced from cabin after decades of living in woods

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