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Location: Branford, Conn.
The Skinny: In the late '90s and early aughts, Christine Svenningsen, widow of party-goods magnate John Svenningsen (he founded Amscan, Inc., billed as "the largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of decorated party goods and party accessories in the world"), spent $36M amassing a collection of nine Thimble Islands, an archipelago of small, rocky islands in the Long Island Sound. The Thimbles are rumored to be the site of Captain Kidd's buried treasure, but if it was treasure hunting that Svenningsen had in mind, she must have given up by now. She recently decided to part with two of the islands—who really needs more than seven individual islands, anyway?—and put the 1/3-acre Jepson Island, as well as the one-acre Belden Island on the market for $2M and $4M, respectively. Belden includes a century-old, remarkably well-preserved cottage with wainscoted walls and ceilings and a wraparound porch overlooking the manicured lawn. There's also a small sand beach, in addition to quite a bit of rock beach. It was the second-to-last island that Svenningsen purchased—she paid $2.77M for it in 2006.
· Belden Island, Branford, CT 06405 [William Pitt]
· Inspired by Serbian Insanity, Five Minuscule Private Islands [Curbed]