Fire burns down cabin of 81-year-old man who spent decades living alone in woods

  • 14 Aug - 20 Aug, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

David "River Dave" Lidstone lived in a small cabin in a wooded area of New Hampshire for the past three decades, but the 81-year-old man's longtime home burned down after he was placed in jail. According to the Associated Press, Lidstone – a US Air Force veteran and a father of four – lived off the land along the Merrimack River for 27 years, growing his own food and drinking water from a nearby stream. But a property owner recently accused him of squatting on the land, and Lidstone was detained by police. Though he would be released from jail if he agreed to abandon the cabin, where he also raises chickens and other animals, Lidstone refused. More than 4,600 people signed a petition to express their hopes of finding a mutual solution for the property owner and Lidstone, who they referred to as a "local legend," but the situation seemed to reach a tragic outcome after the cabin was destroyed in a fire.