After living a peaceful life for over two decades in the woods, an elderly man’s remote existence is being threatened. However, he remains determined to stay put and protect his territory.
An elderly man in Canterbury is being forced to leave his home after years of residing in the woods. For 27 years, David Lidstone resided in a small cabin located in the woods along the Merrimack River in New Hampshire.
He made the place habitable by obtaining his energy from solar panels, growing edible plants and vegetables, and sustaining poultry. The man’s water source was a nearby stream.
He also had some pets to keep him company and depended on firewood from the surrounding forest to make fire for cooking and warmth. Such was his life for almost three decades until a property owner dragged him to court.
The landowner accused him of illegally squatting on his property for all those years. On July 15, Lidstone ended up arrested on a civil contempt sanction, with the reassurance of being released once he decided to leave the cabin.
However, the man refused to budge, maintaining during his court appearance that he was prepared to rot in custody while his detainees kept all his property.
Lidstone claimed the owner, Leonard Giles, gave him unwritten permission to reside there years ago.
Amid the ongoing legal feud, a fire recently engulfed Lidstone’s cabin, burning it to the ground. Local authorities are yet to determine the source of the inferno, as it remains under investigation.
Before going ablaze, the small wooden abode was a two-level, A-frame structure, complete with a kitchen, various utensils dangling from the ceiling, and a make-do beehive. His porch housed a footstool, a mirror, lights, a base made of stacked beer cans, and a pulley-attached clothesline.
While Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman agreed the 81-year-old man was hurting no one, the law was clearly on the property owner’s side. Jodie Gideon, who has known Lidstone for decades, described him as a big caring man who opted to live off the grid for the sake of humanity.
Lidstone claimed the owner, Leonard Giles, gave him unwritten permission to reside there years ago. However, Giles claimed to have no knowledge of his existence in the woods until 2015 and has since asked him to evacuate.
Lidstone’s case has attracted several sympathizers, including boaters and kayakers who have befriended him these past years. Some of them have kicked off a campaign to gather money to cover property taxes while filing a petition on his behalf.
Another case of someone forced to evacuate his home impromptu was recorded in Chatham. Lewis White, who had been collecting reusable boxes for years, had to move to a bigger home after his box collection filled up his living space.
Utilizing his boxes, White packed up his belongings and relocated to his new home, which availed him enough space to stack his boxes.
Leaving one’s home after years of making memories is not an easy ordeal for anyone, but with the right reasons, the sacrifice could be worth it, like in White’s case.