Dateline: 12 February 2016 AD
The importance of personal property rights, and the loss of property rights have been a recent theme in this blog. In researching the subject I came across the story of Romaine Tenney, a farmer in Vermont, whose property rights and way of life were in the way of "progress."
The Law told Romain Tenney he had to leave his home and his land. But he would not.
In the minds of some, Romaine Tenney's noncompliance would make him a criminal, deserving of punishment. After all, the Law is always right and it must always be followed. No laws should ever be disobeyed. That's what some people think.
A 2013 Yankee magazine story about Romaine Tenney begins...
In the summer of 1964, Romaine Tenney was a bachelor farmer. He milked 25 cows by hand on his farm in Ascutney, Vermont. He had no electricity in his house, used no gas-powered machinery. He cut his firewood with an axe and a saw; cut his hay with workhorses. He didn’t own a tractor or drive a car. When he went to the nearby big town of Claremont, across the river in New Hampshire, he’d walk the six miles–except that he probably never walked all the way. People always picked him up. Everyone knew Romaine. With his long beard, felt hat, and overalls, he was a familiar sight. Romaine enjoyed visiting on these rides, and all his neighbors liked him. His farm was right on the major road between Ascutney and Claremont; the road hugged his cow barn, and neighbors would often stop to chat. He rose late and worked late into the night. “You could drive by at midnight and there he would be in his barn, fixing some harnesses or just puttering about,” said Deputy Sheriff Robert Gale. It was as if Romaine held the office of Bachelor Farmer in town.
I encourage you to read the rest of the story at this link: Eminent Domain in Ascutney Vermont: "I Will Not Leave"
It's actually a love story. You'll realize that after you have read it.
P.S. Be sure to check out the comments at the end of the Yankee article.