81-Year-Old Man Forced Out Of Woods After Living In Cabin ‘Off The Grid’ For Nearly Three Decades

A man that has lived in a recluse for the past 27 years has recently been the center of attention in society. David Lidstone, also known as “River Dave,” has been living as a hermit in a cabin in the town of Canterbury, New Hampshire. Although he did not have ownership over the land he was on, he had been living there for quite some time and learned to forage for himself.

The 81-year-old man had gotten used to being alone and away from society and the rest of the world in the cabin he built. He found a way to get plumbing and electricity in the residence and even grew his own food and cut his own firewood. Living in isolation for so long, Lidstone learned to fully embrace and enjoy the outdoorsy lifestyle.

After having personal issues in his own family, Lidstone had chosen to live a life away from them and has since continued to fend for himself. However, he has since developed friendships with locals and passersby in the Canterbury area. Despite having a verbal agreement with the landowner to be able to live on the underdeveloped property, Lidstone has been met with his share of legal troubles as he has been kicked out of his cabin home.

Defending himself has been rough for the elderly man as he grew to cherish the time spent in the cabin in the woods. Even after he was forced out of his home, heartache continued to follow Lidstone as he was met with yet another heart-wrenching predicament.

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Lidstone has been a self-declared hermit for quite some time and has learned how to fend for himself and find innovative ways to take care of all of his necessities. Although Lidstone has been living an isolated lifestyle for close to 30 years, he has been able to develop friendships along the way. WMUR-TV reported that boaters on the river near the cabin would spot Lidstone and strike up a conversation with him from time to time.

On July 15, 2021, Lidstone was jailed on civil contempt sanction and ordered to leave his cabin, as per the Washington Post. The landowner, 86-year-old Leonard Giles, wanted Lidstone off his undeveloped property. It had been owned by the Giles family since 1963. According to the Washington Post, Lidstone had been given verbal consent to stay on the property but had nothing in writing. “You’re taking everything a man has,” Lidstone said, while in the Merrimack County Jail.

After being forced out of his home, Lidstone was met with even more devastating news. On Aug. 4, 2021, the cabin burned down, according to the Washington Post. The elderly man was released from jail the following day after the judge ruled that he would have less incentive to return to the property. The investigation is still ongoing, although the Washington Post reported that disabling the cabin’s solar panel while still having an electrical charge was most likely the culprit.

The kindness of humanity has shone through despite all the problems Lidstone is currently facing, as many people across the country have offered to help the man through fundraising and offering him a place to stay. According to the Washington Post, Lidstone is still unsure what to do next, although he “wouldn’t mind” staying in New Hampshire.

What do you think about this story? Where do you think River Dave will end up? Let us know, and feel free to send this to your family and friends, too.

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