- Associated Press - Saturday, August 19, 2017

EAST HADDAM, Conn. (AP) - The church that came forward last month to purchase a long-abandoned village in East Haddam is planning a neighborhood appreciation day.

The collection of Victorian-style buildings known as Johnsonville had been falling into disrepair when the Filipino church, Iglesia Ni Cristo, purchased the 62-acre property.

The church says the appreciation day set for next Saturday (Aug. 26) will feature arts and crafts for children, food and refreshments and entertainment.

The village was home to twine mills in 19th century before becoming a tourist attraction in the 1960s but it has been vacant for the last two decades.

Town officials have expressed relief that the property will be saved from rotting away. Church officials say they are planning a house of worship but are still finalizing other plans.

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