If you are in the market to buy a village, this will be right up your alley. This 62 acre historic village went up for auction and guess what? Nobody wanted it! Nope, not a one. It has in fact had three different owners. So right about now you may be asking yourself….what is wrong with it? I asked the same thing.
Looking through the pictures nothing seems out of order. It does have some chipped paint and a little wear and tear. Considering its rich history, it looks quite good.
This town was booming. In 1862, Emory Johnson built the Triton Mill at the northern end of the village.
Then in 1965, a gentlemen by the name of Raymond Schmitt, the owner of an aerospace equipment manufacturer, bought the Neptune Mill from the Johnson family. He put a lot into the town. He even purchased vintage buildings from other places and had them moved to Johnsonville, like the church pictured above.
They hosted weddings and other events in the chapel. Are you still wondering why nobody wants this town? Schmitt also brought a steamboat to Johnsonville in 1966. It sat in the pond for more than 30 years. In 1994, Schmitt had a disagreement with local zoning officials and decided to shut down the attraction. He put the property up for sale.
In 1998, Schmitt passed away. The estate sold off antiques and pieces of the property to pay debtors.
Some say that Schmitt haunts the village. That you can catch a glimpse of his shadow in the windows.
There it is! Do you see it? Nope, me neither.
A hotel developer ended up purchasing the village in 2001. They had plans to use it for an upscale mixed-use development that had single family homes and townhouses. The plans however never came to fruition.
In October 2014, the place went up for auction and was sold for $1.9 million USD. Do you think that it is any coincidence that they decided to put the ghost town for sale in October? Maybe playing off the whole ghost town thing? I think so. And I like it! I guess somebody wanted it after all.