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Sold! Abandoned Village of Johnsonville Sells for $1.9 Million in Online Auction

RM Bradley Co.
The fate of Johnsonville is now in the hands of the new, as of yet unnamed new owner.

The bidding is over, and the abandoned village of Johnsonville sold on Auction.com for $1.9 million. No word on the identity of winner of the village, or their intentions for the 62-acre parcel of land in East Haddam, Connecticut. First Selectman of East Haddam, Mark Walter, said he would like to see the village, including the restaurant and chapel, restored and reopened for business.

After languishing on the real estate market for several years at an asking price of $2.9 million, the current owner decided to auction the land off.  Johnsonville is an abandoned village in the Moodus section of East Haddam.

In the 1870s, it was a thriving mill town, using the power of the Moodus River to make twine for fishing nets. In the 1960s, aerospace millionaire Raymond Schmitt purchased most of the property in town, including the last twine mill, and brought in Victorian homes, a chapel, and a steamboat, remaking Johnsonville into a Victorian era-themed tourist attraction.

The quaint setting made Johnsonville a local mecca for wedding celebrations. The village abruptly ceased operation in 1994, when Schmitt got into a dispute with town officials. The village has been abandoned ever since.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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