Last American Man gets eviction order threat


The rugged outdoorsman dubbed the ‘Last American Man’ is facing a government shutdown of his camp in the Appalachian Mountains for not adhering to building code.

Eustace Conway dedicated his entire fortune and nearly 30 years of his  to building and living off of his 500-acre farm. Now he is facing having his entire way of life shut down by the North Carolina state government. In the YouTube film (click the pic above) he says what motivated him.

You can read much more here about Conway, 51, in an excerpt from my book OFF THE GRID – Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America

According to the Wall Street Journal, several officials showed up to his Turtle Island Preserve home and found that his outhouses, kitchens, and even the wood he’s used to build several structures across the properties are in breach.
Their findings were summarized in a 78-page report.

The Watauga County Planning Department in North Carolina has found several health and sanitary violations in his encampment and has threatened to condemn the buildings.

Conway, who was given the title of the ‘last great American man’ by ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Elizabeth Gilbert in her 2002 biography, is fighting the department over their violations.

Now the planning department is demanding that Conway either tear down his structures or rebuild them in-line with public housing codes.

The naturalist is outraged. “The whole foundation of the American experience is based on the experience of small farms,’ he told WSOC TV. ‘This is a small farm.’

While he said he doesn’t have ‘a perfect record,’ he added that America’s Founding Fathers did not have to live up to scrupulous building codes.
He also said that the annual summer camps he runs – which teach outdoor skills to children each year – are at risk of ending.
One of the department’s issues was that none of Conway’s lumber was properly marked. But all of his wood is made at his personal sawmill.
‘Codes don’t apply to what we’re doing,’ he told the Wall Street Journal.
Following the publication of the piece in last week’s Journal, the Building Code Council of North Carolina announced they were thinking of amending the codes for primitive camps.
However, the ruling could take several weeks, putting Conway’s summer camp business in jeopardy.

26 Responses

  1. Lets not over-react. The man runs an “educational center” and as such has people there and perhaps staying in the facility for weekends. He also has none of the safety and health measures required of other similar places. teh county doesn’t care if he lives there but it is unfair to expose others to what might be problematic conditions. I saw his install of wood burning stove and it sacred me and I’m fearless.

  2. Challenge them on every account. Fight fire with fire. So-called construction/code engineers must have valid and up-to-date licenses, degrees, certificates, diplomas, etc. to hold these positions of power and control. FOIA these credentials. Check every academic institution for test grades and enrollment/graduation of these stooges. Many of these municipal positions require attendance of 1-2 day workshops and seminars to be an “authority” on certain construction techniques. Discredit them on basis of merit, knowledge and/or character. Make them the center of unwanted attention. Surely, there must be a situation of compromise involving these ego-centric pot-stirrers. Find it. Tables turned.

  3. Eustace, if you find yourself reading this, I offer my help to you in any way at my means. I have no money, but I have spirit. I have no strength, but I have endurance. I have no political pull, but I have strong beliefs. And Eustace, I will use my spirit, my endurance and my beliefs to help you, and do whatever you need that I can provide. I will help bring to code, write your legal notices, and haul wood til I drop, to help you be the person I respect and believe in. Don’t stand down. Stand up. I’ll stand next to you, behind you, in front of you. I want to help. I am angered by the control the developers, the council, and the regulatory board are holding over your head. There’s more here than meets the eye. Someone of import wants your land and mean to take it from you any way they can. I SAY NO. yayas dot lands at gee mail dot com.

  4. In reply to Jim Spriggs

    Dave Mowers post is obvious sarcasm, overstating the Governments position to make clear their idiocy. He sounds a free man to me.

  5. I’m sure the county would like to get ahold of his land. Remember in America you don’t own your land there is a tax lien that is a forever lien on your property. Only parts of Alaska don’t have property tax.

  6. Take heed from this example, never go on TV to show the world what you have. Although I myself love to watch these programs, to learn and feel inspired to live an alternative lifestyle, it appears that others watch these programs to take you down! The homes on TVs Doomsday Preppers, are going to be the first to get raided too if the SHTF.
    I feel sad for Eustace. So many A-holes out to get him, just because he lives his own life. Insane that people we dont know or ever meet, dictate how we should live!?!?

  7. So many buildings from the 1800’s here still stand and all the old castles back in europe still standing and somehow the gov’t knows better with their codes?

  8. I just emailed the county planning dept. Left them a long email about how crroked the govt is and how they need to stay out of this mans business. Everyone else should do the same

  9. In reply to Dave Mowers.
    Mate do you live in a vacuum? The way your writing comes across i get the feeling that your one of those disempowered weeds stuck in a cubicle in some grey faceless tower. It must erk the shit out of you that there are still people out there that can still think for them selves. I love the words that you use, ” outrage, hubris,ideatility. for you to call this man a scum, makes you lower than snakeshit. I guess the keyboard is the only power you have in the world you pathetic little man.

  10. The Sheriff of his county MUST uphold his Oath of Office. We all need to call on him (or her) and demand they UPHOLD THE OATH. The Constitution does not provide for these bureacratic rules. TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY, ONE COUNTY AT A TIME!! GOD BLESS THE CONSTITUTIONAL SHERIFFS!!

  11. Many like him should have a “Land Patent” where no one can tell you what you can do in your
    “Private Property” and where no one can come in without a warrant signed by the Supreme Court or the president of the US.

    You must be willing to defend your rights with your life, as I am…..I do have a Land Patent.


  12. God bless Eustace Conway with victory over the state oppressors and their tyranny of the codes.
    The state is really attacking Conway because he does things independently, like milling his own lumber and constructing his own buildings, and not using licensed contractors and store-bought lumber and other materials. People who choose simple living, like the Amish, are under attack everywhere, being bulldozed into the slavery of the centralized commercial tyranny the state insists upon. An outhouse should not be crime.

  13. Eustace,

    As an architect of some 40 years I have pulled 100’s of buildng permits and built many, many scores of buildings and are intimately familiar with municipal processes. In almost ALL jurisdictions there is the concept of ‘non-conforming’ conditions or “grandfathering” of situations where current aspects/conditions do not comply with “current codes”. I would recommend you distill down who the over arching jurisdiction is and focus your energies and resources on that single entity.

    I have watched your show many times and in my estimation your biggest challenge is yourself. You are in a pickle and you cannot get frustrated with “modern ways” and not fight the fight the smart way. You are going to have to buck up and get her done bubba. In my opinion your best tool is going to be the “grandfathering” aspect of code compliance. Good Luck and give’em hell brother!

  14. I find it disgusting that a man cannot live on his OWN property without the Government stepping in to harass him. And it is HARASSMENT!
    I am certain there are issues within their local jurisdiction more important than his lumber not being marked correctly or his outhouse not meeting a building code.

    Land of the free? Not any more.

  15. wow, now I have seen it all. “Properly marked lumber?” Maybe these officials could take a look at lowes and home depot for the matchsticks and horrible quality hockey sticks they have fraudulently marked” “prime no#2″… what a laugh..

  16. I am outraged that this man has not complied with ordinances, federal regulations, State law and municipal requirements. What audacity, what hubris, what ideatility to imagine a world where you make the rules and everyone else must be subject to them!

    Who does this man think he is? The people, the government; human? What scum.

  17. God bless Watauga County. If only they truly realized that as they judge, they shall be judged. They keep acting like the Unfairisees and they may end up the SADucees. Stand your ground, Eustace!

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