'Off The Grid' New Hampshire Man Kicked Out Of His Solar-Powered Cabin

David Lidstone, 81

Photo: Jodie Gedeon via AP

A New Hampshire man who has spent the last 30 years living 'off the grid' has been kicked out of his cabin in the woods. 81-year-old David Lidstone - known by locals as 'River Dave' - lives by himself along the Merrimack River. 

He grows his own food, raises chickens, powers his cabin with solar panels and heats it with firewood. But Lidstone's cabin sits on private property, and the owners have accusing him of squatting and want the cabin torn down. Lidstone has been jailed since July 15th on civil contempt charges. But other locals are pitching in to help, raising money to help cover property taxes.

The land that Lidstone lived on for some 27 years is on 73 acres of land a few miles away from Interstate 93. The property has been owned by the same family since 1963 and has been used for timber harvests. There are no plans to develop it.

Lidstone told a judge at a hearing Wednesday, “You came with your guns, you arrested me, brought me in here, you’ve got all my possessions. You keep ’em. I’ll sit here with your uniform on until I rot, sir.” Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman conceded that Lidstone isn’t hurting anyone, but said the law is clearly on the landowner's side.

“You’re doing your own thing in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, so there’s a lot of sympathy to you for that,” he said. “But there’s a lot of weight on the other side of the balance sheet, and not just about what the (landowner) wants to do with the land, but the weight I feel to uphold the judgment of the court and the rule of law.”

Do you think it's right to kick Lidstone out of his cabin after so many years? How long do you think you could live 'off the grid'?

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