Fire Devastates Well Known Former Wilton Maine Hermit’s Cabin
For nearly three decades, an 81 year old hermit has made his home in a cabin deep in the woods near the town of Canterbury, New Hampshire. The two-level, A-frame, cabin, situated next to the Merrimack River, looks like it came straight out of a movie.
But, then again, so does the cabin's resident, David Lidstone
For 27 years, Lidstone (who was originally from Wilton, Maine and whom the locals call "River Dave") has lived off the grid. He has grown his own food, cut his own wood, tended to his chickens, and hung out with his pets. He does (well, did) have power that was provided by banks of solar panels mounted on the top of his cabin.
Sadly, that all ended on Wednesday afternoon when the cabin went up in a blaze.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.
The fire was just the latest recent upset in Lidstone's life. Several weeks ago, he was sent to jail after a judge made the decision the he had been squatting on the land for the last 27 years.
According to WGME, the owner of the property is a man from Vermont named Leonard Giles. Apparently, he did not even know Lidstone had been living there until 2015, when a town administrator expressed concerns about the septic system and possible zoning violations. While Giles has no intention of developing the 73 acres of land at this time, he has been trying to have Lidstone removed for the last few years.
On July 15th, a judge ruled in favor of Giles and ordered Lidstone to leave the cabin or be thrown in jail. Lidstone reportedly chose jail.
Lidstone's status has not been confirmed at the time of this writing.
The only bright side is that most of River Dave's possessions had been removed from the cabin before the fire. Additionally, it appears that most of his animals had made it out of the burning building.
We all hope that he and the property owner can come to an agreement. Or, more likely, that Lidstone can find a new place to live.