New Hampshire

Tech Billionaire Gives NH Hermit $180,000 to Rebuild Cabin

Alexander Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, gave David Lidstone a personal check last week

David Lidstone, left, has lived off-the-grid in the woods along the Merrimack River in New Hampshire for almost three decades in a small cabin, right. Lidstone, known as "River Dave" by local boaters and kayakers, was jailed on July 15 after he was accused of squatting on private land.
Jodie Gedeon via AP

A billionaire software company CEO has given a former hermit in New Hampshire $180,000 to rebuild his cabin in a new location.

Alexander Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, gave David Lidstone a personal check last week, Lidstone’s friend, Jodie Gedeon said on Facebook. A spokesperson for the data analytics software company confirmed the donation to the Concord Monitor.

“How can I express myself and my gratitude towards something like that? I start to tear up whenever I think about it,” Lidstone told the Monitor. “For an old logger who always had to work, for anyone to give you that type of money, it’s incredibly difficult for me to get my head around.”

There has been an outpouring of support for Lidstone since he was jailed July 15 and accused of squatting for nearly 30 years on property owned by a Vermont man. His cabin burned down this month shortly before his release, but he recently secured temporary housing through the winter.

A man who has been living in a cabin in the woods of New Hampshire was arrested amid a dispute over the land; his cabin burned down while he was behind bars.

The location is being kept secret to protect Lidstone’s privacy, Gedeon said. But supporters will have a chance to meet Lidstone at a “thank you” event in Warner, New Hampshire, on Saturday.

Lidstone, for his part, said he doesn’t think he can go back to being a hermit. “Maybe the things I’ve been trying to avoid are the things that I really need in life,” he told The Associated Press.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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