Johnsonville's founding dates back to the 1830s, when it was a mill town for the twine industry in Connecticut. Fast forward to 1960, when, according to Curbed, aerospace millionaire Ray Schmitt bought up all the buildings in town. He also brought his own buildings to Johnsonville, including a Victorian-era stable and a chapel from Massachusetts, opening a quaint theme park.
By 1994, after a fight with local officials and a few fires, the park closed. Save for the movie "Freedom" being filmed there as well as a Billy Joel music video, the 64 acres have been left abandoned ever since.