Home News Island used as brothel outside Washington lists for $2.1M

Island used as brothel outside Washington lists for $2.1M

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A mysterious Chesapeake Bay island once used as a brothel is on the market for $2.1 million.

A 90-minute drive from Washington, DC, the five-acre enclave known as Tipiti Wichity Island is known for its brooding but colorful past.

Current owners, Gail and John Harmon, told an insider They believed the island served as a brothel after the Civil War and was run by a soldier named Captain Henry Howgate.

Records show that Howgate was one of the first residents of Tipiti Wichiti Island. from Sotheby’sThis list is supplemented by Howgate’s purchase in 1879.

According to an article published in 1895 by The News, Howgate had a lengthy rap sheet containing convictions of fraud and embezzlement.

Meanwhile, Harmons purchased the island as a timeshare in the 1970s for $125,000. At this point, they and another couple saw an ad in the classifieds section of their local newspaper, The Washington. The Harmons said they were looking for a waterfront villa at the time when they moved to Washington for military service.

Tipiti Aerial view of Wichiti Island.
townshend visuals
dock.
dock.
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The house is surrounded by greenery.
A cottage on an island surrounded by lush greenery.
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dining area.
dining area.
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kitchen.
kitchen.
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The ad included a quote from William Shakespeare’s play “Richard II”.

“[We] Gail Harmon recounts their first visit to the island.

For 30 years, the two couples alternated weekends until the other pair decided to sell their shares to Harmons nearly a decade ago, according to Insider.

Before it was used as a vacation retreat, it had a completely different purpose.

The living area has a wood-burning fireplace.
The living area has a wood-burning fireplace.
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Covered gazebo for outdoor dining.
Covered gazebo for outdoor dining.
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1 of 3 bedrooms.
1 of 3 bedrooms.
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custom pool.
custom pool.
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Passing Tipiti Wichiti Island on a Potomac River cruise in 2017, Jody Argo Schroath editor Chesapeake Bay Magazinereported what locals believe suggests a brothel was built on the island after the Civil War.

“It’s an alteration named ‘Tippling and Witchery Island,’ named after the disreputable house that was there after the Civil War,” Schroath wrote in his column.

Meanwhile, a friend told Gail that the island may have functioned as an illegal distillery during Prohibition in the 1920s. It was revealed that it had been imported.

“It was the perfect place to meet the buyer,” she said. “If the federal government comes up the river, you might fall behind.”

A five-minute boat ride from the mainland, the island doubles as a full-time residence, provided it has an electrical system with a backup generator.

The package includes a three bedroom cottage with an open plan living and dining room and a wood burning stove. Other features include a dock, beach, kayak and canoe launch areas, and an outdoor heated pool.

“In the 1800s, Washington, D.C. was still a small outpost,” publicly traded broker David DeSantis told Insider. “It was a wilderness. There was a lot of piracy on the water, and it was like a lawless environment.”

“By today’s standards of what people think of as a beachfront summer home in the U.S., this is still pretty modest,” DeSantis added. It’s like It’s not like living in an island mansion. You can change that if you want, but that’s not their vibe. “

The Harmons are approaching the age of 80 and say age was a factor in their final decision to sell their beloved island.

“Bittersweet,” Gale said.

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