The small suburban hamlet of Johnsonville, Connecticut, has sat abandoned for nearly 20 years. After going on and off the market since 2015, the town sold in July for $1.85 million.
International religious organization Iglesia Ni Cristo, also known as INC or Church of Christ, scooped up the 62-acre property with plans to turn it into a recreation and sporting center for members. The Philippines-based church has grown its US real estate portfolio over the years, converting idle lots into permanent gathering places for worship.
“We needed deep pockets and [the INC] said, ‘We love this place and we’re going to do [what it takes],” Milkie told Business Insider. The church paid cash with no contingencies.
Here’s what it’s like inside Johnsonville.
Johnsonville, Connecticut, is the shell of a once-booming mill town.
Established in 1802, the little hamlet became an industrial center for twine production.
A community rose up around the mill. Homes, a church, a store, and a post office insulated the town from the outside. It’s unknown how many people lived in Johnsonville at its peak.