National Geographic Program to Feature Johnsonville

On September 19, Abandoned, will air “Connecticut’s Ghost Town.”

Johnsonville will be featured in an episode titled “Connecticut’s Ghost Town” on the National Geographic Channel show Abandoned.

The show description, according to their website, states that the Johnsonville episode is “an extraordinary opportunity to explore not just an abandoned building, but an entire town…Jay, Dan and Mark expect to find well-preserved properties, but are shocked by excessive mold, mildew and disrepair. After struggling to negotiate fair prices, Jay decides to make an unprecedented offer to buy an entire schoolhouse.” 

described Johnsonville as a once “thriving mill village and later a tourist resort.” Johnsonville has sat empty since about the early 1990s when its owner, Raymond Schmitt, got into a dispute with local zoning officials and closed the resort. After he died in 1998, his heirs auctioned off all Schmitt’s holdings, including Johnsonville.

Vintage photographs detailing Johnsonville before it fell into disrepair were provided to National Geographic by the .

The episode will air on the National Geographic Channel on Wednesday, September 19 at 9:30 p.m. ET.


CJTOO August 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
what a great idea!
Robin Hood August 27, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I've always thought it would make a great mini Sturbridge. Not sure what is wrong with East Haddam, this is sitting, Sunrise sits, KlarKrest, the Nathan Hale middle school project sits, something is amiss.
Michelle McNiff Grant August 27, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I got married in Johnsonville 20 years ago. (9/12/92). We had the ceremony in the chapel and the reception across the street at The Red House. It was beautiful back then. It's so sad to see it this way now.
Wendy Vincent August 27, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Michelle: Do you have any photos? I would love to see a wedding looked like there! It must have been stunning!
Beth Ballek August 28, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Very sad! My sister was married there also! It is a beautiful property that needs a make-over & could be a little village 2 get tourists, to see more than the Goodspeed, that East Haddam has to offer
Anthony Valentino August 28, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Mark Walter, what are you doing?
Observor August 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Robin Hood: Nothing is amiss. 1. Sunrise sits because the state won't spend money on it and their request for proposals from private operators turned up nothing feasible. Call our new state rep and state senator in November. 2. KlarKrest is privately owned by an Orthodox Jewish religious organization and the owners stopped work on the project they started to make it a summer camp. Putting town money into it might be problematic given its religious affiliation, and in any event it is now tax-exempt so the town will reap little return. I think it likely that the camp would be staffed by Orthodox Jews (not that I have any problem with that) who just come to town for the summer so there probably isn't much prospect of seeing a lot of jobs. You should also know that the Klar family had the place on the market for over a decade before they found a buyer. 3. The old school sits because of concerns about bonding $13,000,000.00 in this economy on top of the $16,000,000.00 in bonds issued for the new school. Reasonable people can disagree on this issue, but the party that favors keeping it on hold won last fall's election in a landslide.
Robin Hood August 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
It just seems that E Haddam is in limbo, it puts all its eggs in the theater which would sell the town out in a second if another town offered to build them a new theater, and they did. A little diversity perhaps? It seems like Johnsonville was unfairly harrassed by the town years ago and the owner let it sit, it would have been wiser to work with them and help them and get more tourism of varying types. Sunrise is a joke, DEEP has had several very good offers especially with camping which is what Ct needs, some decent camping like Vermont, they have an attitude about what it will be, probably a resort for the ultra rich would be approved. NHMS could be used and taken care of better, some offices could be moved in, you don't have to spend 30 million, these things spiral out of control.
StacieT August 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM
We live very close to it and would LOVE to see it open to the public again. I can't wait to see the show and get a peak inside some of the buildings!
Serene Skeptic September 19, 2012 at 07:17 PM
A Reminder! The National Geographic Special on Johnsonville airs TONIGHT at 9:30 pm!
Wendy Vincent September 19, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Thanks for the reminder!
Tony Bonura September 19, 2012 at 09:11 PM
How much do they want for Johnsonville?


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