Philippine-founded church group, Iglesia Ni Cristo, has bought a ghost town in Connecticut for $1.85 million.
The 62-acre hamlet of Johnsonville — a former mill town was a Victorian-themed vacationer attraction by an eccentric millionaire — had been deserted for years.
Speaking to native newspaper The Hartford Courant, church minister Joji Crisostomo stated: “We want to see it introduced again to life.
“We don’t like the term ‘ghost’. I don’t think anybody likes that.”
The church, which is predicated in Quezon City and has branches all through the world, hasn’t finalised its plans for the property however is seeking to protect the historic buildings and convey the chapel again into use, Mr Crisostomo stated.
Iglesia Ni Cristo was based in 1914 and describes itself as “the fulfillment of biblical prophesies on the true Church of Christ in these last days for man’s salvation”.
Church members first visited Johnsonville ilast month, and the money sale went by means of inside days, shocking locals who had seen the property languish available on the market for years.
“This happened awfully quick,” Emmett J Lyman, the primary selectmen of East Haddam, informed the Courant.
“My thought was, it’s going to take a week or two; they’re going to look at stuff and evaluate what they’ve got. Not so.”
The property contains an previous post workplace, a schoolhouse, a normal retailer, the unique homestead of the mill house owners and an deserted church.
Johnsonville was a part of a thriving mill group within the 1800s.
In 1972, millionaire industrialist Raymond Schmitt, proprietor of aerospace firm AGC Inc, purchased the property after a lightning strike destroyed the mill.
He then set about making a Victorian-era vacationer attraction, shopping for up historic buildings throughout the northwest USA and delivery them to the town.
In addition to the buildings, he additionally purchased a paddleboat from the World’s Fair within the 1960s.
He later transported it to Johnsonville, the place he deliberate to make use of it to ferry passengers across the town’s lake.
Despite his greatest efforts, the town by no means actually took off as a vacationer attraction, and after a dispute with native officers he closed the town in 1994 and put it up on the market.
He died 4 years later, and the property fell into disrepair — even the paddleboat started sinking into the lake.
Connecticut-based lodge firm Meyer Jabara Hotels offered the town to the church on Friday. It paid $2.5 million for the property in 2001.
In October 2015, Johnsonville was put up for public sale, with the hammer coming down at $1.9million. However this sale fell by means of.