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$800,000 Will Buy You a Whole Town

Oct. 26, 2014

If you have $800,000 just lying around, you could find yourself the owner of a whole town.

That’s right, a town.

If you’ve never heard of Johnsonville, Connecticut, don’t be too surprised. It has essentially been a ghost town since 1994, but before that, it had been everything from a movie set, to a textile mill, and even a theme park.

The origins of Johnsonville stretch back to 1830, when the town was slowly formed around a textile mill, mostly used for making twine. It grew and expanded over the next 130 years until roughly 1960, when it was purchased by Ray Schmitt, famous aerospace millionaire.

Ray ended up turning the town into a theme park, complete with all the old buildings as well as some of his own that he had brought into town, such as a chapel and small stables. His theme park suffered a few fires over the years, but it stayed open until about 1994, when Schmitt got into some arguments with nearby officials, and it was shuttered for good.

Since then there has been a movie filmed there, as well as a music video by hit-factory Billy Joel, but otherwise it has gone completely unused.

The current owners are a hotel development company who purchased it back in 2008, and were unable to sell it for just shy of $3 million last year. They have since lowered their expectations, in an attempt to get rid of the property.

If you have $800,000 and have always dreamed of making yourself mayor, this could be the business opportunity of a lifetime.