By Jennifer Gould/New York Post
Who needs the Caribbean when you can buy your own private archipelago off the Connecticut coast.
While some wealthy couples collect art, Christine and Edmund Stoecklein used their millions to buy a major portfolio of private islands. Now their secret stash of eight islands are on the market — the “rarest and most remarkable assemblage of private islands” on the Eastern Coast, according to the listing — for $78 million.
“This is a really beautiful collection of private islands, and they are unique. You don’t expect it off the coastline,” Sotheby’s listing broker, Shelly Tretter Lynch, told the Post. “I’ve traveled all over the world, and I’ve seen nothing like it.”
Unlike other East Coast private islands — and believe it or not, there are others — these islands include stately mansions and charming guest houses.
“The family built beautiful houses on most of the islands, and that is what makes these islands truly special,” Tretter Lynch said. The listing was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
All of the islands are a five or ten minute boat ride from the Connecticut coast — or a twenty minute helicopter ride from Manhattan.
The price includes a 2.32 acre waterfront property on the mainland with a stately Victorian mansion, staff lodgings, and a private dock for boats traveling back and forth from the islands.
The best home is a 10 bedroom, 13,000 square foot mansion that sits on 8 acres on Rogers Island. That home was built around 1900 and fully restored. Rogers Island also includes a four bedroom cottage, artist’s studio and greenhouse on the property. There’s also a swimming pool, tennis court and a golf putting green and tees designed by Jack Nicklaus. The island also includes a private cove with two granite piers and floating docks that can accommodate larger yachts. Christine Stoecklein bought Rogers Island for $22.3 million in 2003.
One of the other islands, Reel Island, is undeveloped, while Wheeler Island, which is on less than an acre, has an eight bedroom home. Another island, known as Cut-in-Two Island, features a pedestrian bridge that joins the east and west portions of the island, which have their own homes.
Last year, the Post reported, another private island off the coast of Connecticut was on the market for $10.99 million. Tavern Island, off the coast of Rowayton, Conn., is so close to Manhattan that it boasts views of the city skyline. That three and a half acre island was settled by Europeans in 1651. By the 1950s and 1960s, it had become a chic party pad for Hollywood royalty, including Marilyn Monroe, thanks to its owner, theater legend Billy Rose before it faded into oblivion. The island includes a six bedroom Tudor mansion, also from 1900, along with a pool, cottage, boat house, tea house and private beach — and it is still listed for sale with Rick Higgins, of Higgins Group Real Estate.