The Wadsworths then turned to an auction. There was an undisclosed reserve price, and a right of first refusal if the reserve was not met. The house went to auction to be sold "as is."
James Wadsworth, John and Adrian Wadsworth's brother, traveled up from his home in Washington, D.C. to offer support.
"It's sad selling the house," James Wadsworth said. "But we've come to the point, we have no other choice. I came up here hoping to see it go. Hopefully, it will."
At Wednesday's auction, one of the bidders was Yisroel Rabinowitz of New York, who owns three properties in downtown Hartford and headed the conversion of the former Masonic Temple on Ann Street into apartments.
Rabinowitz said he also owns Bridge Healing Arts Center in Farmington, nearby on Main Street.
"One of our things that we have been planning for a while is to start doing weekend retreats, so this would be a perfect fit being that it is so close to the Bridge," Rabinowitz said.
The competing bidder was Matt Kowal of Southington, who attended the auction with his wife, Heather, and two sons, Matt, 3, and Benjamin, 2.
Kowal said he is a heating, ventilation and cooling contractor and works with a real estate investor on commercial renovation projects.
"It comes down to they have their number and we have ours," Matt Kowal said. "Everyone has their limits."
The auction also drew the curious, like Thomas and Jean McCarthy, who run an antique store in town.
"You don't get to see this very often," Jean McCarthy said.
"Changing of the guard sort of thing, see if it goes into other hands or they are going to retain it," Thomas McCarthy said.
Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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