A tiny, 1-acre island in the middle of Long Island Sound blessed with a quaint, 2,038-square-foot house offers the ultimate in privacy.
“It’s part of chain of islands called the Thimble Islands, off the coast here in Branford, CT, not far from New Haven. A number of the Thimble Islands have just one home on them,” explains the listing agent, Margaret Muir.
This is also the case for Belden Island, which offers an excellent opportunity for a buyer who values seclusion. The private island is on the market for $1,295,000.
It has a small sandy beach and a private dock perfect for the ferry that takes residents between their homes and the shore. Once on shore, residents can either park a car or find other ways to get to the nearby train station, where both Amtrak and Metro North stop.
“The mainland town or village is called Stony Creek, and it is a charming fairy-tale location to begin with. Then you leave the shore and you head out into the Thimble Islands, and each one is different, but they all have a common history.”
Some of the hundreds of outcroppings in this archipelago are larger than others, and 23 are inhabited. The islands were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
The largest island in the chain, known as Horse Island, measures 17 acres. It’s owned by Yale University and used as an ecological laboratory. Money Island, 12 acres, has 32 houses on it. The others are smaller, and some are no more than rocks visible at low tide.
“A lot of the people who live in the Thimbles have vacationed there for generations. It’s just part of who they are, and they look forward to it very much every year,” Muir explains. “They know other island homeowners and other families who’ve been there over the generations.”
This house was built in 1912 with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, and doesn’t serve as a year-round residence.
“It’s a seasonal house as it is. At the end of the season, you would drain the pipes and close it up, and look forward to the next spring,” Muir says.
The setting is simply idyllic.
“The house itself looks like it’s out of a storybook,” she adds. “It’s really very charming and sweet. You feel like you’re stepping back in time.”
Much of the wood is original and preserved, as are other features, including two stone fireplaces.
Water comes from the city and a generator and propane power the rest. There is irrigation for the lawn.
The kitchen is quaint, with a gas stove, griddle, and two refrigerators.
“It’s intentionally not updated too much. It’s part of the life there,” Muir says.
“You’re not rushing to get through the meal and get things cleaned up to get somewhere,” she adds. “You’re taking things at a slower pace, and I think there’s something to be said for that.”
The current asking price includes all the furnishings, as well as 2 acres of deeded shellfish beds, which have been rented out to people who harvest the oysters, Muir says.
For those who opt to not do any work at all, the home’s porch is the perfect place to while away the hours.
“From sunrise to sunset, the feeling of being out there on this wraparound rocking chair porch is really something that has to be experienced,” she says. “You have an occasional boat going by, or someone paddling by in a canoe or kayak at a distance, but it’s so serene, and it’s so special.”
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