Monday, October 4, 2010

Spellman Point

In July 1925, headlines in the Middletown Press pronounced “Spellman Point Jumps in Value over Sixty Fold – Remarkable Advance in East Hampton Land in 15 Years.”

In 1910 Mrs. John Spellman had purchased the land for $1,500. In the early summer of 1925, Mrs. Spellman, however, had received and offer of $100,000 from Dr. Fred Swartz, owner of Camp Wopowaug. One might remember that Camp Wopowaug closed in the early 1960. It was one of the many facilities that graced East Hampton, East Haddam, Moodus, Haddam Neck and Colchester which many called the little Catskills. Although none of these camps matched facilities like Grossinger’s Resort, they were a welcome vacation and treat for numerous New Yorkers or those escaping cities for fresh country air. The camp was located at the end of Wopowaug Road near Route 196 and is now State Forest Land abutting the Salmon River at the old Leesville Dam and Power Station.

As for the property and the offer, Mrs. Spellman planned a meeting with the nearly 100 cottage owners who leased sites on the Point. She was willing to give them first option to purchase, provided they could match Dr. Swartz’s offer, which eventually they did. Those early cottage owners and subsequent land owners came from New Haven, New Britain, Derby, Hartford, Middletown and a number of other communities from around the state. In fact several families, relatives of the original owners still own cottages or homes there.

Today, there are approximately 42 homes or cottages on Spellman Point and their gross appraised value by the Town Assessor is approximately $19.4 million. The appeal of Lake Pocotopaug and land values attached to it certainly haven’t changed.

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