Private Island Retreat Offered for Only $339,000 with One Catch: Can You Make It Through the Night?


Many people joke about buying their own private island as a retreat: It’s the ultimate getaway, a sure sign you’ve made it and a powerful flex.

Most private islands aren’t affordable (which is part of the point of them being luxuries), but one particular islet in Maine is starting to get attention for its surprisingly low price tag and unusual requirement.

Duck Ledges Island is a 1.5-acre rocky outcropping in Wohoa Bay that boasts unparalleled water views, a cottage and all the peace and quiet you could ask for.

“There is no better place to spend the weekend in the world!” Downeast Properties says on its webpage for the listing. “The ledges surrounding the island are loaded with seals for constant entertainment.

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“As it has no trees, it offers views of nature that you can’t find anywhere else. The cottage is well constructed and just a few feet from sand beaches on both sides.

“Good anchorage and good landing points at any tide. Mooring included adjacent the island and just a short boat ride from Jonesport public marina or Addison facility.”

The cozy 540-square-foot cottage can sleep up to four and is a rarity as it is a relatively new structure but was built before new zoning laws came into effect that prevent buildings on similar kinds of properties.

There’s also the charmingly rustic outhouse. Running water isn’t available — everything has to be packed in.

With easy access to civilization, private beaches and unbeatable flora and fauna experiences, what’s not to like?

During the summer the island is an oasis, and owner Billy Milliken extolled the virtues of the ocean breezes.

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“It was just such a relief, physical relief,” he told Insider of one summer visit. “I slept outside in the hammock. It was the best night’s sleep I ever had.”

But during the winter? Not so welcoming.

With freezing temperatures and violent storms, the island is not safe for “man or beast,” according to Milliken, who generally avoids visiting between October and May.

“There’s been three different times when the storm surges have come up to the cottage, and maybe under the cottage to a degree,” Milliken said. “But, it’s elevated. It’s never, ever damaged the structure or the flooring.

“I had a friend stay there during a storm in the wintertime. He really roughed it. He was ready to come home after three days.”

Over the years, Milliken has enjoyed the island as a personal retreat and invited friends and family to use it as well — but he found that many are more interested in using the spot as a day trip destination rather than staying overnight and really experiencing all the island has to offer.

Milliken feels very strongly that the new owner should become acquainted with and appreciate the island’s quirks and features, so much so that he’s made it a stipulation in the sale of the private getaway.

“I’m sticking to my plan in that to qualify as a buyer you’ve got to stay,” he said.

That hasn’t scared everyone off. So far, two potential buyers have cleared the night-stay hurdle and at least three more are lined up to try.

Then comes the tough part: deciding between the eligible candidates. But Milliken trusts, as a real estate agent himself, that the match will make itself clear.

“It’s going to be coming from the gut,” he said. “When it’s right, it’s right. I’ll feel it, and they’ll feel it.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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