Monday, June 21, 2010

Private islands

Since my post on Plum Island being put up for sale on the Atlantic coast, 2 other less industrial island properties have gone on the market:

Will-O-Isle (1st image), Putnam Lake, New York
$1.5 Million
After purchasing the island for a mere $72,500 35 years ago, a New York City ad executive and his family have used Will-O-Isle as a weekend getaway, rowing to it because there are no gas-powered boats allowed on Putnam Lake. The 5-minute ride is the equivalent of 3 city blocks, but takes you a world away. There is a 3-story, 4-bedroom stone home on the property, which was built in 1932.

Turkey Island (2nd image), Rock River, Iowa
This 43.5-acre island in the Rock River close to its juncture with the Mississippi was acquired 13 years ago by a lumber company that built a sawmill on it to harvest and replant the maple trees. Once farmed by Sauk Indians and early settlers, Turkey Island now supports deer hunting and is a great place to dock a boat, swim, and get away. “When you are there, you feel like you are in a remote place. But you are not,” says the company president.

Curious about the ownership of private islands, I soon learned that the majority of those offered for sale worldwide - from Argentina to Zambia - are marketed through the Canadian firm Private Islands Online. They list dozens and dozens of islands for sale in the U.S. alone, from Ram Island, Washington, to Ram Island, Maine. You can search by state or country, by keyword (for instance, undeveloped islands or those boasting a helicopter pad), by type (islands with a residence or a beach), or by price (currently ranging from $30,000 to240,000,000).

Here is an article about the incentives and drawbacks to owning an island, with a slideshow of some of the priciest properties. Here is a list of celebrities who own islands. Lastly, there are both a magazine and a blog about privately-owned islands. I now know which island I will imagine owning...

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