An island and cottage for sale a short boat ride from Jonesport and Addison offer sound sleep and no mosquitoes, but before you can buy them, you must survive a night there.
That is one of owner William Milliken’s conditions to buy this off-grid, one-bedroom house and all of Duck Ledges Island, also known as Wohoa Bay Island. It offers a rustic Down East getaway for those with no need for indoor plumbing, heat or gas.
The price tag for the home and island is $339,000, just a little higher than the median sales price for a single-family home in Maine. That makes it one of the less expensive offshore islands in the state with a cottage included.
It comes with challenges, including the 10-minute boat ride to the mainland to get supplies and the inability to get insurance because of storm surge and other risks. Still, it offers a rare kind of peace.
“I had my best night’s sleep there in a hammock on the porch,” said Milliken, a real estate agent with the listing company Bold Coast Properties and a Jonesport selectman.
Milliken, who has owned the property on and off since 2008, said he’s had hundreds of people express interest since he listed it in the spring — mainly those who saw it online and romanticized about it — and about half a dozen showings. But so far, no one has put down money.
“It’s not a place where you would spend the whole summer,” he said. “It’s for weekends or week-long retreats.”
The 540-square-foot home has a combined living room and kitchen downstairs and a loft bedroom. The island is 1 1/2 acres with no trees, so it offers “views of nature that you can’t find anywhere else,” Milliken’s ad says. Sometimes, that view of nature can be found in seals that come to nearby waters to birth their young.
Visits to the island began in earnest in the 1970s, when a Massachusetts family bought it for $6,000. They floated an Airstream trailer out to it and built a wooden addition. A Massachusetts science teacher bought it from them and as he aged into his late 80s, he was unable to maintain the property, so Milliken and a friend bought it in 2008 and built the current house on it.
They sold it a few years later to someone in Boothbay, but that owner got divorced a few years ago and sold the island back to Milliken and his friend. Milliken is selling because he purchased another island he wants to focus on.
Taxes run about $1,200 a year. It is not possible to get regular insurance for the island and house because of its location and potential hazards. He said water incursions are rare in the summer but a winter nor’easter can bring debris near the home.
The property includes a 2,000-watt generator to support some lighting and electricity in the house. He said with a cell phone hotspot, it is possible to get internet and work from the island. Still, he realizes the off-grid experience isn’t for everyone.
“Amazon doesn’t deliver here,” he said. “But you can just get away from everything and realize how big planet Earth really is.”