Ruger Estate


NEWPORT — The property commonly referred to as the Ruger Estate in North Newport has been sold at auction for $612,733, according to a Fiduciary Deed filed Monday at the office of the Sullivan County Register of Deeds in Newport.

There were six bidders for the property that called for a $50,000 check to bid.

The auction was held a little more than a month prior to the filing of the paperwork, At that time, officials said it would be 30 days before the information on the sale would become available.

The property at 2 Corbin Road was purchased at the auction by James William Henry Watson and Ida Louise Walters, husband and wife, as joint tenants with a mailing address of 248 North Main St., Newport. That address is home to the Newport plant of RDS Machine LLC.

Asked what he was going to do with the former Ruger property, Watson was quick to respond. “Live there,” he said. He added that sometimes his daughter and grandchild will visit.

Watson is one of the owners of RDS in Newport, a plant they purchased five years ago. Watson said he works at the Newport plant across from Newport High School three or four days a week. He has another business that he travels to in Michigan.

He said he was able to purchase the Ruger property at an attractive price. “My wife went along with it,” he stated. Watson and his wife, Ida, have been married for 45 years. “Neither of us are from around here,” he revealed. They met for the first time in South Royalton, Vt.

And what does he like about Newport? “I really enjoy the highly skilled people that work here,”

Watson is a graduate of UCLA and holds a PhD in economics. For 10 years he was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

The sale of the Ruger property included 110 acres of land. The land and buildings are currently assessed for just under $1 million, Watson stated.

The North Newport property was listed by The Peterson Inc. of Peterborough. Realtor Andrew Peterson is co-owner and vice president of the firm.

In a previous report, it was revealed the initial listing for the residence and buildings with 500 undeveloped acres was $3.7 million. According to Peterson, the family of the late owner, William Ruger Jr., later trimmed it to $2.5 million for the home, buildings and 100 acres.

Much of the land involved is listed in Current Use, according to records at the Newport Tax Office.

The main house was constructed in 1880 by Austin Corbin. According to Newport assessing records, Ruger purchased the property in 1988 for $135,000.

Watson said the condition of the property on the land is generally in good shape. The windows need painting, he said.

Carolyn A. Vogel of Harrisville was listed as the Executor of the Estate of William B. Ruger Jr.

The property begins on the northerly side of the Newport to North Newport highway just west of Corbin Bridge. According to the deed, it includes four tracts of land .

The Ruger property on the Atlantic Ocean at Bar Harbor, Maine, known as East of Eden sold for $4.1 million Saturday plus an additional $451,000 buyers premium, according to the buyer, according to the Mount Desert Islander.

It was purchased by Portland real estate developer and philanthropist Art Girard and his wife Fran Girard.

The property was listed for $12.5 million. It included 8.95 acres and buildings with a tax assessment of $5.2 million. Nine registered bidders participated in Saturday’s auction.

Girard said he plans to sell the estate for exactly what he paid for it, with the understanding that the buyer will donate an additional $400,000 to an animal shelter and to the University of New England.

East of Eden is a three-story, 28-room mansion.

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