Connecticut Ghost Town Up for Auction

Start your bidding for Johnsonville, Connecticut, at $800K
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2014 11:34 AM CDT
Ghost Town Up for Auction
One of the buildings in Johnsonville, Ct.   (

Bidders who aren't scared off by million-dollar purchases can take possession of an American ghost town in Connecticut. Johnsonville was a robust mill community in the 19th century, but it is now abandoned and up for sale at Bids start at $800,000, and the top one will get a 62-acre site that includes a large family home, a general store, a chapel, a wooden dam, and a covered bridge. A millionaire named Ray Schmitt bought the site in the 1960s and "began restoring it to its former grandeur," explains a press release about the sale. He set about moving quaint New England structures into the village in the apparent hope of creating a tourist attraction on the former mill site, reports the Hartford Courant. It never quite took off, however.

Schmitt died in 1998 and various development plans have fizzled over the years, leading to the current auction. The village, located within East Haddam, has eight structures in all. As with any self-respecting ghost town, rumors of hauntings abound—with some saying the spirit of Schmitt himself remained (to see his dream through) and others claiming the spirits of mill workers haunt one home, reports the Connecticut Post. Who definitely has been there: Hollywood. The press release notes the buildings have featured in films like Freedom (which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr.); the location was also used in Billy Joel's "River of Dreams" video. Bidding gets underway on Oct. 28, just in time for Halloween. (Click to read about a home sale that included a $122,000 cat.)

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