Connecticut ghost town goes up for auction from $800,000


The historic village of Johnsonville, Conn., is going up for auction Oct. 28 at a starting bid of $800,000.

Encompassing some 62 acres, the property has eight 19th century buildings, a pond, a wooden dam and a waterfall. The buildings include Victorian and Colonial-style homes from the mid-1800s and a one-room school.

Set along the Moodus River in East Haddam, Conn., Johnsonville was a recreation spot and a thriving mill town in the 1830s centered on the Neptune Twine Co., which made binding rope for the fishing industry. With modernization, work dried up and the village became a ghost town.

Then a millionaire named Ray Schmitt bought the town in the 1960s and began restoring it as a tourist attraction, moving a Victorian stable and 1876 chapel to the site. Since his death in 1998 it has been sitting vacant.

The historically accurate buildings have been featured on National Geographic’s “Abandoned” and used as sets for films including “Freedom” (2014). Billy Joel’s music video of “River of Dreams” was shot at the 15-acre Johnson Millpond.

Advertisement and RM Bradley are handling the online auction. Bidders must register at and provide a $10,000 deposit and proof of funds.

Twitter: @LATHotProperty