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‘River Dave’ moves from New Hampshire, finds new home in Maine

River Dave has found a new home.

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David Lidstone, 82, a hermit whose cabin in the New Hampshire woods burned down in August 2021 after he spent nearly three decades on the property, is moving to Maine, according to The Associated Press.

Lidstone was charged with trespassing in January after returning to the banks of the Merrimack River in Canterbury, where he had lived at for 27 years. Now, he has moved east into Maine. He told the AP he has a three-room cabin on land that he bought and is installing a chimney and putting in windows.

“The foundation needs repair work,” Lidstone, who received more than $200,000 in donations in April after the fire destroyed his New Hampshire cabin, said in a telephone interview on Monday. “It’s just an old camp, but I enjoy working (on it).”

Lidstone grew up in Maine but did not provide the location of his new home.

A family member, Jessica Lidstone, posted photos on Facebook showing Lidstone with another family member at the site of the new home.

Lidstone said a previous owner gave him verbal approval to live at the New Hampshire spot “years ago.” The current owner, Leonard Giles, said Lidstone did not have permission to live on his land, adding that he did not even know the hermit was on the property until community leaders told him in 2015, according to the AP.

Lidstone was in jail when his cabin burned down in August. A judge released him shortly after the blaze, the New Hampshire Union-Leader reported.

Giles, 87, of South Burlington, Vermont, died on July 23, according to his obituary. It was not immediately clear if his death changes the status of the legal actions against Lidstone. Giles’ attorney did not respond to the AP’s request for comment.

Lidstone said he was said to hear about Giles’ death.

“I had nothing against the old man,” he told the AP.

Now, Lidstone said he is excited to move on with his life in a new state.

“I’ve got all kinds of friends up here,” Giles told the AP. “I’ve had friends every weekend, all summer.”


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