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Location: Rowayton, Conn.
The Skinny: Tiny Tavern Island, a half-mile off the Connecticut coastline, is a private isle that combines a number of desirable features in one property. The 3.5-acre island features a historic six-bedroom Tudor mansion—dating to 1900—a caretakers cottage, a "tea house," a boathouse, a regulation-length lap pool, three beaches, a staging area on the mainland with dock and garage, and a cannon of unknown provenance. Somewhat surprisingly, the isolated property is serviced by town water and electric, meaning that the boat ride is the only necessary sacrifice, and is within easy commuting distance to Manhattan. Rumors suggest that the island's name was derived from its service as a speakeasy during Prohibition. There's also a celebrity connection: theater legend Billy Rose purchased the island in 1957 and kept it until his death nine years later, filling the place with memorabilia along the way. Since then, it has passed through several owners, some of whom lived on the island year round. The current owner, a financier and major MIT donor, bought Tavern Island in 1982 for $950K. Today, the price is quite a bit higher, at $12.9M.
· Tavern Island [Zillow]