This Family is Selling its 55-Acre, Goat-Filled Island in the Bay for $1.5M

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“Goat-Filled Island in the Bay” – you read that right.

The word is out on Bradshaw’s First Purchase, a water-bordered, goat-infested parcel of land in Ewell, Md., a town located on Smith Island. For obvious reasons, it’s better known as Goat Island, owner Bob Bradshaw told The Daily Times of Salisbury.

His land is 55 acres “of uninhabited, pristine waterfront property,” according to a real estate listing. And even better, it has electricity – a rare amenity for a remote isle in the bay – plus “about 30” goats, give or take. It’s going for $1.5 million, roughly a tenth of the original asking price when it hit the market nearly 10 years ago, according to The Daily Times.

If any property ever had potential, this one was it. The island has about 1.25 miles of shoreline, no existing buildings and self-protecting elevation to fend off the sea level rise that nearby Tangier Island’s mayor is certain isn’t happening. It’s zoned for up to two buildings, according to Bradshaw.

As in the case of the much-cheaper lighthouse on the Patapsco River that recently went up for auction, the owner will need a boat to access their new home. They’ll also hopefully like goats.

Locals told The Daily Times goats have long been a part of the island’s history, though this batch is relatively new. The previous herd was wiped out by a nasty winter about two decades ago, so a retired couple reportedly bought new goats and released them onto the island.

Goat islands are strange, but not uncommon. Google “goat island” and you’ll find similar (and better-hyped) destinations in Niagara Falls, South Carolina, California, the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand. As wildlife biologist Julia Lamb wrote on JSTOR, goats that inhabit many islands are actually known to be quite destructive to their environments, as they spawn quickly and have bottomless appetites.

With that in mind, the lucky buyer should make sure to goat-proof their new bayside home and carve out a symbiotic relationship with the land’s current tenants.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Associate Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan is Baltimore Fishbowl's associate editor. He previously covered Baltimore-area news as a web producer for Fox45/WBFF-TV. Before arriving in Baltimore, he worked as an assistant editor for CQ Researcher in Washington D.C., and a reporter for Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. Look for his freelance bylines in Baltimore City Paper and DCist.
Ethan McLeod
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