News24

Tiny US town fetches $900 000

2012-04-06 09:02

Los Angeles - Billed as the smallest town in America, Buford, Wyoming, was sold at auction on Thursday for $900 000 to a Vietnamese national who wants to remain anonymous, the seller said.

Twenty-five bidders signed up for the auction, held online and on-site, of the town with its three-bedroom house, school, gas station and several other buildings.

Buford's last inhabitant and the owner of the buildings, Don Sammons, 61, said the package went to a Vietnamese man from Ho Chi Minh City.

"He actually flew here from Vietnam. He was on site," said Sammons.

The winner had to battle it out with bidders from Hong Kong, New York, Florida, Kansas and Wyoming, with the bidding starting at $100 000. Some called in their offers by phone but about 20 people were on site.

Railroad stop

"I'm happy and I'm sad all at once," said Sammons. "But I'm more happy than sad because this is all I wanted."

"I can continue and start the next chapter of my life," he said, adding that he planned to go someplace with sandy beaches and "maybe a palm tree" for a week or two before writing a book about his life in Buford.

The former railroad stop once was home to about 2 000 people. But they started moving away after train service ended, until the sign at the entrance to town read, "Buford. Population: 1".

The buyer will get 4ha of land. Besides the house, a garage, cabin and barn, the property includes a cellphone tower and a parking lot that a trucking company uses to switch trailers at night.

The Buford Trading Post, as the outpost is called, benefits from regular traffic along the I-80 interstate, with Wyoming's state capital Cheyenne just 50km to the east, and San Francisco 1 850km  to the west.