Donald Trump link causes a stir in sale of Scottish island property

Donald Trump pictured at the house in Tong, on the Isle of Lewis, where his mother was brought up before she emigrated to the United States. Picture: PA
Donald Trump pictured at the house in Tong, on the Isle of Lewis, where his mother was brought up before she emigrated to the United States. Picture: PA
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It is a pebble-dashed dwelling which cuts an unassuming presence in a tiny Hebridean village.

But a modest family home which has been put up for sale is attracting unexpected interest from those who believe it constitutes a unique slice of presidential history.

The property next door, Number 3 Tong, is often cited as being the Trump House. Picture: Contributed

The property next door, Number 3 Tong, is often cited as being the Trump House. Picture: Contributed

With the opportunity to convert its loft space into two en-suite bedrooms, it is not hard to see how locals on Lewis might appreciate the property’s potential, even if its wider appeal is not immediately obvious.

However, the bungalow, located in the village of Tong, has sparked several enquiries from parties under the impression that is the birthplace of Mary Anne MacLeod, the mother of US president Donald Trump.

The address, which reads simply, 3 Tong, is described by the estate agents as a traditional family bolthole with “bright and airy” accommodation.

The property, they add, is located close to the village school, with “beautiful sandy beaches” a short drive away.

But the house has a more far-reaching footprint online, given it is widely cited as the place MacLeod was born and raised. It is understood it was first wrongly identified as the MacLeod birthplace by a broadsheet newspaper back in 2006.

To compound the error, Trump and his staff have accidentally lent it credence. In a section of the website of Trump International Golf Links, given over to the 71-year-old’s ancestry, it too states that MacLeod was born at 3 Tong.

The mistake has since been widely repeated across numerous news outlets, blogs, forums, and genealogical sites, when in fact, MacLeod was born in the neighbouring property, 5 Tong, which Trump himself famously visited in a fleeting 2008 visit.

He spent just 97 seconds inside before travelling on to Aberdeen to oversee the development of his resort.

With 3 Tong currently on the market at £169,500 – some £8,500 below the home report valuation – it has sparked interest among those who believe it to be the so-called Trump House.

The Negotiator, the trade journal for the estate and lettings agency, devoted an article to the sale of what it claims is the birthplace of Trump’s mother.

“Decorated sparingly inside,” it states, “the cottage is a far cry from the gleaming portfolio of towers that her son Donald built in the US, or the gold-encrusted rococo Manhattan apartment he owns in New York.”

Genealogical experts told Scotland on Sunday they had contacted Trump International Golf Links to ensure they had the right information about MacLeod’s place of birth.

Stuart Reid, who runs the Edinburgh-based Scottish Roots ancestral research service, said: “We have checked the birth certificate and it states number 5 Tong, and this is what we have on our website.

“It sounds like a simple typo has appeared somewhere along the line, possibly on the Trump golf website. We have suggested they correct the article accordingly to avoid any further confusion.”

A spokeswoman for Derek Mackenzie Solicitors and Estate Agents, which is marketing the property, said: “It’s definitely not the Trump House – that’s another property in Tong, and we’ve been asked not to comment about it further.”

Trump International Golf Links did not respond to a request for a statement.