Devoid of human inhabitants, Johnsonville, Connecticut has the vibe of a literally ghost town. But hey, a few coats of paint and you could DIY your own town, right?
Well, here’s your chance: the entire 62 acre historic village is actually up for sale with a starting bid of $800,000.
Johnsonville has been vacant for more than 20 years and, oddly enough, this is not the first that time has happened. It’s actually been abandoned 3 times.
Back in the 1830s, Johnsonville was a thriving mill town along the Moodus River where a restaurant, general store and schoolhouse served its inhabitants and visitors from nearby towns stopping in for some riverside recreation.
The colonial and Victorian homes were built by the families of the mill-owners. They lived in the until the 1950s when modernization crept in on the community and Johnsonville became a ghost town for the first time.
But in the 1960s, millionaire Ray Schmitt bought the town. He envisioned it being a destination for bed-and-breakfasts and weddings.
But disputes with local officials put the brakes on Schmitt’s plan and by 1998, Johnsonville was abandoned again after Schmitt’s death.
Hope came a-knocking again a decade later when a hotel developer bought it in 2008. But if you remember, 2008 was the year of the housing subprime crisis and within a few years, Johnsonville was back on the market for $2.9 million. It was never sold.
Think that the fourth time is the charm?
It’s back on the auction block waiting to see what its future holds. Bed-and-breakfast destination? Theme park? World’s most expensive haunted house? What would you do with Johnsonville?
Auction.com describes the property as “an assemblage of 8 contiguous parcels totaling approximately 62 acres…a unique redevelopment opportunity to combine the historic value of the 19th century village with 21st century living as permitted uses include: single family, multifamily housing to include market rate and affordable, senior housing, arts/entertainment center, B&B’s, inn, restaurant/banquet facility, retail shops and schools.”