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Meanwhile, up north, the word for the market is "wonderful," says power broker Carolyn Klemm of Klemm Real Estate, headquartered in Washington, Conn. She reports recent closings on two $4 million-plus properties in Washington, one of which was for a former girls' boarding school called Wykeham Rise ("For the Good and the Beautiful," according to the motto emblazoned on its crest), which, Klemm tells us, the Rolling Stones rented out when they played Shea Stadium for their 1989 Steel Wheels tour. The new owner's plans for the school property are not known.
An approximately $3.9 million sale recently broke a town record in Woodbury, Litchfield County's antiques hub, where over 50 dealers flourish. Indeed, the sale was for Mill House, one of the Woodbury's most popular and well-regarded antiques businesses that included a glorious residence, the shop (itself housed in various buildings), a workshop, a caretakers' house, barns, a pool, gardens and even a piece of the river that runs through it. The owner, Klemm says, plans to operate the business—Mill House inventory was conveyed in a separate sale—and live in the home. Maria Taylor, also of Klemm, handled the sale and reports a new factor fueling the second-home market: Now that Connecticut offers a generous tax break to filmmakers shooting in the state, Hollywood luminaries are real estate shopping, especially in Roxbury, already home to Candace Bushnell, Frank McCourt, Dustin Hoffman and literary luminary William Styron's widow, Rose Styron (who may be renting out her home for the summer, we hear).
In Litchfield County, celebrities do a world of good for their adopted hometowns, often donating important parcels to the local land trusts. The Styrons, Walter and Carol Matthau and actor Richard Widmark, who passed away in March, have all donated land to the Roxbury Land Trust, for instance.