Abandoned 1894 Carleton Villa Getting New Life After Selling for $300K


Overview of Carleton Villa

  • Location: Cape Vincent, New York, USA – specifically at 13618 Carleton Island Lot 1.
  • Sale Price: Recently sold for $300,000.
  • History: Built in 1894 by architect William Miller for William O. Wyckoff, a key figure in the typewriter industry with the Remington Arms Company.
  • Past Use: Initially a luxurious summer residence and social venue in the Thousand Islands region.
  • Current Condition: Abandoned for over seventy years and exposed to the elements, the structure requires significant restoration.

Historical Significance and Architectural Details

  • Early Tragedy: Tragically, Wyckoff’s wife died of a heart attack just one month before they moved in, and Wyckoff himself died of a heart attack on his first night in the villa.
  • Subsequent Ownership: The villa was inherited and later sold by Wyckoff’s son, Clarence, during the Great Depression. General Electric then acquired it to potentially develop the land but eventually abandoned these plans.
  • Architectural Changes and Damages:
  • Removal of stained glass windows and an entire bedroom floor.
  • Stripping of marble from the tower base.
  • Demolition halted by World War II, leaving the villa partly dismantled.

The Property Today

  • Size and Access: The property spans 6.9 acres with three waterfront access points totaling 815 feet.
  • Condition: No utilities are connected, though power and water are accessible on the island. The villa’s stone base remains, but wooden upper structures are decayed.
  • Market Presence: Originally listed at $375,000 before selling for $300,000.

Future Plans

  • New Owner: Ronald Clapp, a Florida-based real estate investor.
  • Restoration Goals: Plans to convert the villa into a bed and breakfast, reviving its historical charm and functionality.
  • Community Impact: Expected to boost local tourism and preserve a significant piece of local history.

In summary, Carleton Villa’s transition from a grand estate to an abandoned relic, and now to a potential bed and breakfast, encapsulates a rich narrative of rise, fall, and rebirth. This project not only aims to restore the physical structure but also to rejuvenate its legacy as a historical landmark in the region.


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