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7 people who gave up on civilization to live in the wild

By: Bryan Nelson on April 16, 2010, 1:06 p.m.
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Noah John Rondeau

For a number of years, "Cold River City," located in the upstate New York county of the same name, had a population of exactly one: its self-styled mayor Noah John Rondeau. Rondeau lived in the woods on a bluff above Cold River off and on from 1914 to 1929, and then began to live there year-round in '29. He constructed two cabins, a "town hall" and a "hall of records." The former was where he cooked and slept, while the latter held his supplies. Critical of American political and business practices at the time, Rondeau found an escape in the wilderness. Visitors, however were welcomed. Rondeau's hermitage began to wind down in the late 1940s, as he started doing a sports show tour of sorts. By 1950, with a storm destroying acres of tree, Rondeau started the long process of leaving Cold River City. He died in Lake Placid hospital in 1967 at the age of 73.

William J. O'Hern has written a number of books about Rondeau and the books can be purchased from his website.