Lidstone is a logger by trade who chopped his firewood and grew his food in the woods along the river. The property, undeveloped and mostly used for timber harvests, has been owned by the same family since 1963. Lidstone had claimed that years ago, the current owner’s father gave his word — but nothing in writing — allowing him to live there.
In the summer, he was jailed on a civil contempt sanction and was told he’d be released if he agreed to leave the cabin following a property dispute that goes back to 2016. The landowner, 86-year-old Leonard Giles, of South Burlington, Vermont, wanted Lidstone off the property.
“We’ll let the court address it,” Lisa Snow Wade, an attorney for Giles, said Tuesday of Lidstone’s arrest.
Back in the summer, both sides agreed to arrange for Lidstone to collect his cats and chickens and remaining possessions at the site. Lidstone also was given permission to hire a surveyor to give him “peace of mind,” Judge Andrew Schulman said. As of Tuesday, Lidstone said he was unable to get someone to come out to survey the land yet.
A fire destroyed the cabin on Aug. 4, hours after Lidstone defended himself during a court hearing. He was released from jail the next day after the judge ruled that he would have less incentive to return to “this particular place in the woods,” now that the cabin had burned down.