News, Culture & Society

New Jersey woman buys remote private island in Maine for $339,000

A New Jersey woman has become the proud new owner of a remote private island off the coast of Maine after spending a night there by herself to prove she was qualified to purchase the $339,000 property. 

Accessible only by a 10-minute boat ride, Duck Ledges island in Wohoa Bay boasts 1.5 acres of unspoiled land and a rustic 540-square-foot cottage that lacks running water, heat, and a bathroom, but comes with an outhouse. 

Real estate agent Billy Milliken, who had owned the island since 2007, had a unique stipulation when he listed the property — any potential buyers had to be willing to stay overnight by themselves. 

Charlotte Gale, a licensed massage therapist, told DailyMail.com that she was struck by the island’s beauty when she saw the unique listing last June and didn’t have any reservations about the requirement. 

Charlotte Gale, a licensed massage therapist from New Jersey, bought Duck Ledges island for $339,000 after spending a night on the deserted landmass off the coast of Maine

Real estate agent Billy Milliken, the private island's former owner, requested that any potential buyers had to be willing to stay overnight by themselves when he listed the property

Real estate agent Billy Milliken, the private island’s former owner, requested that any potential buyers had to be willing to stay overnight by themselves when he listed the property

‘I thought it’s worth a night to check out,’ she explained. ‘I just felt this pull, not from my gut but from my heart. My heart was like, “Well, let’s give it a chance.” So I did.’

'I thought it's worth a night to check out,' Gale pictured) told DailyMail.com. 'I just felt this pull, not from my gut but from my heart'

‘I thought it’s worth a night to check out,’ Gale pictured) told DailyMail.com. ‘I just felt this pull, not from my gut but from my heart’

She had sold her home during the COVID-19 pandemic and missed her garden, so she was looking for a property to cultivate a new one. The island, with its native irises and roses, felt like the right spot. 

Gale and Milliken hit it off immediately during their first meeting, and she felt he could tell that she respected island and its natural beauty. 

She also understood what the property meant to him. It was a place filled with memories of the lobster bakes and dinners he hosted for his family and friends over the years. 

‘I think he really felt it was a place to connect with family and friends in a way that he couldn’t on a mainland,’ she said. ‘There is such a sense of joy on that island. I just hadn’t experienced that level of joy and serenity in very many places.’ 

Gale didn’t pack much, just a swimsuit, a portable toilet, and other necessities to get her through the night. She also brought a solar-powered rainbow maker to make use of the stunning morning light. She later gave one to Milliken to thank her for her stay.

The island in Wohoa Bay boasts 1.5 acres of unspoiled land and a rustic 540-square-foot cottage, but the property doesn't have any running water or heat

The island in Wohoa Bay boasts 1.5 acres of unspoiled land and a rustic 540-square-foot cottage, but the property doesn’t have any running water or heat 

Instead of a bathroom, there is a nearby outhouse, but Gale didn't have any qualms about roughing it in the cabin

Instead of a bathroom, there is an outhouse located in the grass near the cottage. ‘I thought a camp is a camp,’ Gale said of the lack of basic amenities 

Gale has a portable toilet on the island and has yet to use the outhouse. 'It's convenient. There is the clean up of it afterward, but it's small trade-off for the beauty that's there,' she explained

Gale has a portable toilet on the island and has yet to use the outhouse. ‘It’s convenient. There is the clean up of it afterward, but it’s small trade-off for the beauty that’s there,’ she explained

‘The island doesn’t need you to bring much, and you’re there to just enjoy the beauty of nature and the serenity of being surrounded by these pristine waters and beautiful rocks and all of the beautiful wildlife,’ she said. ‘I think he understood that I understood that right away.’

Duck Ledges rests off the rugged Maine coast, nestled between the shores of Acadia National Park and the Canadian border.

It’s just a short boat ride from the mainland marina in Jonesport, and there is a deep-water landing zone for loading and unloading food and supplies on the northeast part of the island. 

Gale, who loves the outdoors and finds it a challenge to be inside, didn’t have any qualms about roughing it in the cabin, which has a generator that she chose not to use that first night. 

Built in 2009, the charming two-room cottage has wood-clad walls and timber-framed windows to enhance its rustic charm

Built in 2009, the charming two-room cottage has wood-clad walls and timber-framed windows to enhance its rustic charm

The pitched roof gives it a bigger sense of space, and a wooden ladder provides access to the lofted sleeping area

The pitched roof gives it a bigger sense of space, and a wooden ladder provides access to the lofted sleeping area

The loft has a small window overlooking the ocean and enough space for two twin beds

The loft has a small window overlooking the ocean and enough space for two twin beds  

‘I thought a camp is a camp. You know what you’re getting. You’re getting nature in exchange for bringing your own water in and using a portable toilet and that is part of what a camp experience is,’ she said. ‘That’s the expectation. You’re living with nature, and you’re living very simply.’ 

Built in 2009, the charming two-room cottage and its neighboring outhouse — the only structures on the island — offers panoramic ocean views of the bay, the rocks, and the wildlife that sunbathes on the sandy beaches.  

The interior has wood-clad walls and timber-framed windows to enhance its rustic charm and a pitched roof for a bigger sense of space. A wooden ladder provides access to two twin beds in a lofted sleeping area.

The cozy cottage also has electricity and WiFi, along with a swinging hammock on the covered front porch.

Gale didn't pack much for her first stay on the island, just a swimsuit, a portable toilet, and other necessities to get her through the night

Gale didn’t pack much for her first stay on the island, just a swimsuit, a portable toilet, and other necessities to get her through the night

She also brought a solar-powered rainbow maker to make use of the stunning morning light

She also brought a solar-powered rainbow maker to make use of the stunning morning light

Gale knew she wanted to buy the island within 10 minutes of exploring the ‘little slice of heaven.’ She made her intentions clear, but Milliken still wanted her to stay the night

Despite what some people may think, she insisted there is nothing creepy about the deserted landmass or the boats that pass by. 

‘The island is so safe. There is nothing scary coming off that island. I can tell you that,’ she said, recalling how she did some writing and fell asleep to the sound of the lapping waves during her trial visit.    

‘When I went to bed that first night, I was surprised. There were dolphins circling the island, and I hadn’t expected that,’ she shared. ‘I thought, “Wow, this is really amazing.”‘

She has also seen seals, seagulls, and bald eagles, among other wildlife, while keeping her eyes peeled for a rare blue butterfly she heard inhabits the island. 

Duck Ledges rests off the rugged Maine coast, nestled between the shores of Acadia National Park and the Canadian border

Duck Ledges rests off the rugged Maine coast, nestled between the shores of Acadia National Park and the Canadian border

Unlike other islands in the bay, there aren't any trees blocking the view of the sea

 Unlike other islands in the bay, there aren’t any trees blocking the view of the sea

The private retreat is about a 10-minute boat ride from the mainland marina in Jonesport

The private retreat is about a 10-minute boat ride from the mainland marina in Jonesport

Not only is Duck Ledges gorgeous, but Gale also liked that it is ‘just the right size to maintain.’ Unlike other islands in the bay, there aren’t any trees blocking the view of the sea, and the cabin is well-built. 

When she told Milliken she was sticking by her decision to buy the property the next morning, he replied, “Good, because it just went viral on Zillow.’ 

The realtor had higher offers from property developers, but he sold it to her for the asking price of $339,000 because he knew she would respect the land. He didn’t want to see the cherished property turn into a big development. 

Gale didn’t tell anyone she was buying the private island; she just did it. 

‘I figured it was my decision, and I felt very comfortable with it,’ she said. ‘I always felt very safe there, so I just had no reservations.’

Gale said she knew she wanted to buy the island within 10 minutes of exploring the 'little slice of heaven.' She didn't tell anyone when she made the purchase in July

Gale said she knew she wanted to buy the island within 10 minutes of exploring the ‘little slice of heaven.’ She didn’t tell anyone when she made the purchase in July 

She has stayed at her new summer home about five times since she bought it. The brutal winds and winter storms make the island inhospitable between the months of October and May

She has stayed at her new summer home about five times since she bought it. The brutal winds and winter storms make the island inhospitable between the months of October and May

During a typical visit, Gale wakes up, makes herself pancakes, explores the island, works on her children's book, watches the tide change, and enjoys afternoon naps

During a typical visit, Gale wakes up, makes herself pancakes, explores the island, works on her children’s book, watches the tide change, and enjoys afternoon naps

Stephen King tweeted about the property last summer. The famed author, who was born in Maine, had a house in Bangor, which is 80 miles from the island

Stephen King tweeted about the property last summer. The famed author, who was born in Maine, had a house in Bangor, which is 80 miles from the island

She has stayed at her new summer home about five times since she bought it in July, and is awaiting the spring to return. The brutal winds and severe winter storms in Maine make the island inhospitable between the months of October and May.  

During a typical visit, she wakes up, makes herself pancakes, explores the island, works on her children’s book, watches the tide change, and enjoys afternoon naps. 

She brings in water to drink and wash with, as well as a portable bathtub to soak in. She insisted she doesn’t miss running water when she is there, and she has never used the outhouse. 

‘I have always used the portable toilet. It’s convenient. There is the clean up of it afterward, but it’s small trade-off for the beauty that’s there,’ she explained. 

Gale wants others to experience her beloved island for themselves and is taking rental requests on her website. 

‘A lot of people are inquiring about that because I think they feel that beauty and joy in the island, and I want to share that experience,’ she said. ‘Living in a camp and living off the grid is easier than people think.’

Gale wants others to experience her beloved island for themselves and is taking rental requests on her website

Gale wants others to experience her beloved island for themselves and is taking rental requests on her website

She has already had a number of writers, artists, and photographers reach out about workshops there, which she wants to make happen

She has already had a number of writers, artists, and photographers reach out about workshops there, which she wants to make happen

The island's new owner noted the most surprising thing about the purchase was how many people have reached out to her, saying the 'support has been so beautiful'

The island’s new owner noted the most surprising thing about the purchase was how many people have reached out to her, saying the ‘support has been so beautiful’

She has already had a number of writers, artists, and photographers reach out about workshops there, which she wants to make happen. 

When Stephen King saw a report about the island listing last summer, he tweeted, ‘There’s a novel here, just waiting to be written.’ The famed author, who was born in Maine, had a house in Bangor, which is 80 miles from the island.  

Gale would love to have King visit and write about the island, but she doesn’t envision it being the setting of a horror story. 

‘I am challenging Stephen King to write a children’s book there,’ she said, laughing.

The island’s new owner noted that the most surprising thing about the purchase was how many people heard her story and reached out to her.  

‘The outpouring of heartfelt congratulations and support has been so beautiful,’ she said. ‘I think the story really is that there is so much goodness in folks.’



***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



Find local lawyers and law firms at USAttorneys.com