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Looking for a Posh New Home?

Published Friday Sep 6, 2019

Looking for a Posh New Home?

According to Forbes, members of the family who co-founded longstanding firearm manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. in Newport, will be selling two properties this weekend via luxury auction this weekend. While each property previously had a multimillion-dollar price tag, both will now be sold to the highest bidder without reserve, meaning the highest bid for each home will prevail. The larger of the two estates is located in Bar Harbor, Maine, and was originally selling for $15.5 million. The other property, a 110-acre country estate in Newport had an asking price of $3.75 million. The sales are scheduled to be held on the Bar Harbor property site this Saturday, September 7. The Ruger family retained Miami-based Platinum Luxury Auctions to manage the sales in cooperation with the properties' respective listing brokerages.

Both properties were owned by the late William B. Ruger, Jr., son of William B. Ruger, who cofounded the now-publicly-traded firearms giant with Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949. The company now employs nearly 2,000 people and has a market cap of almost $750 million. After passing away in late 2018, Ruger left the properties to his family members, who elected the auction route and hired Platinum after the properties failed to find a buyer while listed with their local market Realtors.

According to Trayor Lesnock, Platinum's president and founder, the simultaneous sale of multiple properties for one seller has historically been a very rare occurrence in the world of non-distressed, luxury real estate auctions, but that may be changing. "This is our third situation within the past 10 months wherein we have handled multiple properties for one seller," Lesnock said. "Perhaps not surprisingly, each of these sellers falls within the ultra-high-net-worth category, and they are utilizing the luxury auction process to reallocate their capital away from what are often stagnant or non-performing real estate assets that no longer provide them with a high degree of utility."

To be sure, in January of this year Platinum sold four luxury properties - each located in a different state - within 36 hours for one wealthy couple. In addition to the Ruger properties, the firm sold on August 30 one of two properties owned by William D. Zollars, the former CEO of the publicly-traded shipping conglomerate YRC Freight, Inc. (Zollars's other property, located in Leawood, KS, is slated for auction with Platinum on Sept 14.

The Ruger's estate in Maine, known as East of Eden, is an historic, Mediterranean Revival mansion originally built in 1907. The 15,000 square-foot home was restored and upgraded throughout the years, and sits on nine waterfront acres with frontage on Bar Harbor's Frenchman Bay. The 8-bedroom, 9-full-and-3-half-bath estate also includes a drive-through, 8-10 car garage house, multiple storage outbuildings and an illuminated dock that also accommodates large yachts and sailboats. The price tag was reduced to $12.5 million before heading to auction.

East of Eden is listed with Maine real estate brokerage The Knowles Company, who is represented by top-producing listing agent Susan M. Ferrante-Collier. "Our listing brokerage and agent partners are always an integral part of our process," said David Ashcroft, Platinum's managing director. "It's a team effort."

The family's other auction property is on 110 private acres in Newport. Another historic home (circa 1880) that has been extensively renovated and upgraded throughout the years, it was known as Ruger, Jr.'s primary home - a place where he would unwind or tinker with a myriad number of projects in his spare time, according to Ashcroft. "He created a large office and workshop for his projects, in addition to a really spectacular gallery hall for displaying various items and works of art," he added.

The property features a 4-bedroom main residence of nearly 7,500 square-feet, in addition to a separate guesthouse (also with 4 bedrooms), a tri-level barn, heated workshop, additional workshop and a gentlemen's study. The multi-structure compound is within close proximity to the secretive Corbin Park, aka the Blue Mountain Forest Association. The 25,000-acre park is known as home to the "Millionaire's Hunt Club," as it has long served as an ultra-private, hunting/sporting destination for a select few members (whose membership has been estimated at +/- 30).

Interestingly, the Ruger's Newport property was once owned by Austin Corbin, for whom the park is named. Corbin's childhood home originally occupied the site. Once his parents passed, Corbin - a multimillionaire industrial baron of his era - tore down the family home, leaving only his childhood bedroom. He then built the new estate around the singular room.

Platinum is conducting the NH sale in cooperation with listing agent Andrew R. Peterson of The Petersons Inc. real estate brokerage in Peterborough.  

Complete information on both properties is located online at and, respectively. Platinum's offices can be reached at 800.262.5132. Previews are being held for each property on a daily basis, through and until the auction date. Interested bidders must formally register to participate in the sale, and are encouraged to contact Platinum for registration details.

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