Offers flood in after woodland hermit’s cabin burns down – Press Herald

Concord, N.H. — An off-the-grid New Hampshire hermit acknowledged to natives as “River Dave” w…….


Concord, N.H. — An off-the-grid New Hampshire hermit acknowledged to natives as “River Dave” whose cabin burned down on woodened property wright here he had been squatting for 27 years has been inundated with provides from Maine and fullly different states for A mannequin new place to stay.

David Lidstone, 81, stayd Inside the woodens alongside the Merrimack River Inside the metropolis of Canterbury. He was jailed on July 15 on a civil contempt sanction and was informed he’d be launched if he agreed To go away the cabin. The property proprietor, Leonard Giles, 86, of South Burlington, Vermont, wants Lidstone off the property.

An undated photograph of David Lidstone, 81, who for almost three many years has stayd Inside the woodens of Canterbury, N.H. alongside the Merrimack River. Jodie Gedeon by way of Associated Press

Hearth destroyed the cabin Wednesday afternoon, The identical day Lidstone seemed in courtroom to defend himself. He was launched Thursday from the Merrimack County Jail after a decide dominated that he would have much less incentive to return to “this particular place Inside the woodens” now that the cabin had burned down. His wright hereabouts have been unacknowledged.

The state fire marshal’s office said It is investigating the blaze, however deferred Inquiries to the Canterbury Hearth Departmalest. Lt. Dave Nelson of Canterbury Hearth said he expects the investigation to take A pair of days and Tright here have been no updates out tright here about its set off on Thursday.

“We simply had The hearth yesterday, it takes A wright hereas,” Nelson said.

Lidstone is accused of squatting for 27 years on the private property. The picket, two-diploma A-physique cabin had a small, cluttered kitchen with pots hanging from the ceiling, some house equipmalest, and curtains on the house windows. His porch had a footstool with a base Made from stacked beer cans. He transformed a wooden range Proper into a beehive. He hooked up lights, a mirror and a pulley for a clothesline to logs supporting the cabin. Tright here have been piles of firewooden.

Close by was a gravel path Ensuing in vegetable backyard plots outlined by logs And a few berry bushes. Lidstone acquired his water from a stream.

In courtroom, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman agreed Wednesday that Lidstone wasn’t hurting anyone, however said the regulation was clearly on the landproprietor’s facet.

“You’re Doing all of your private factor Inside the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, so tright here’s A lot of sympathy to you for that,” he said. “But tright here’s A lot of weight on The fullly different facet of the stability sheet, And by no means Nearly what the (landproprietor) Desires to do with the land, Neverthemuch less The load I really feel to uphold the judgmalest of the courtroom and the rule of regulation.”

The cabin that David Lidstone assembleed and stayd in for almost three many years Inside the woodens of Canterbury, N.H. burned on Wednesday. Jodie Gedeon by way of Associated Press

Jodie Gedeon, an avid kayaker who befriended Lidstone about 20 years in the past, said “people have been simply devasaid” Regarding the information of The hearth.

But she said They do not Appear to be abandoning efforts To unravel Lidstone’s dilemma collectively with Understanding some compromise with Giles. Money raised from supporters might go to bringing Lidstone’s compound As a lot as code – its presently in violation of native and state zoning and environmalestal regulations – and To assemble an entry road to the property.

“They solely can’t confacetr it occurred. We felt like we had Barely Little bit of hope,” she said of the current courtroom listening to. “We thought the land proprietor and David would come to settlemalest. One selection was to lease that portion of land to Dave. Convey it As a lot as code. We felt Which Could Even be An exactistic decision if The two males would agree.”

A primary cousin of Lidstone, Horace Clark of Milton, Vermont, agrees he Ought to be allowed To Carry on the property.

The woodenlot Lidstone referred to as house was Just a few miles away from Interstate 93, north of Concord. Neverthemuch less it was hidden by the timber on 73 acres Which have been used for timber harvests. The property has been owned by The identical household since 1963, and tright here Are not any plans Presently to develop it.

“Depart the man alone. He’s not harming anyphysique,” Clark said. “If he wasn’t A drawback in 27 years, He isn’t going to be A drawback now.”

But Giles’ lawyer Lisa Snow Wade said tright here Are not any discussions round permitting Lidstone To Carry on the property.

“I did converse with Jodie Gedeon this morning who raised The thought of a lease, however I defined to her that we had confacetred This idea Prior to now when Mr. Lidstone had counsel, and All of us concluded that it Did not change the authorized obligation of the landproprietor to the metropolis for having somephysique dwelling in an ilauthorized assembleion on the property,” she said in an e-mail interview.

The fullly different selection for Lidstone Can be to relocate To A particular parcel of land, An exact hazard Provided that Gedeon has acquired about 20 provides from Maine, New Hampshire and So far as California. Lots of these provides resulted from the media safety of Lidstone’s plight.

“It tells me That people have compassion and humanity and don’t agree with what occurs,” Gedeon said, including she deliberate To debate decisions with Lidstone in a telephone name Thursday Evening time.

Lidstone informed a decide Via the Wednesday courtroom look that he had no want to Adjust to the order To go away the cabin. Most of his possessions have been Faraway from it earlier than The hearth.

Lidstone, Who’s initially from Wilton, Maine, additionally said the cabin was not An right house however pretty a searching and fishing camp. He doesn’t have an lawyer for his courtroom case. Anfullly different listening to Inside the case is scheduled for subsequent week.

“You acquired here Together with your weapons, you arrested me, launched me in right here, you’ve acquired all my possessions. You retain ’em,” Lidstone informed a decide Via the courtroom look. “I’ll sit right here Together with your unitype on till I rot, sir.”


Whittle reported from Portland, Maine. AP Correspondent Michael Casey contrihowevered from Concord, New Hampshire.

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