Buford, Wyo., population 1, heads to auction
BUFORD, Wyo. (AP) -- What's advertised as the smallest town in the United States is scheduled to go up for auction next month.
Buford, located between Cheyenne and Laramie in southeast Wyoming, is famous for having just one inhabitant, Don Sammons.
Sammons plans to retire from managing his businesses at Buford and move on. The auction is set for noon on April 5.
Buford traces its origins the 1860s and the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and had as many as 2,000 residents before the railroad was rerouted.
Sammons and his family moved from Los Angeles to Buford in 1980. Family members moved away over the years, but Sammons stayed on as sole resident and "mayor" of the unincorporated community. He bought the trading post in 1992 and operated it until last year.
"It was a great life for me and for my family," he said, adding it would be the same for anyone looking for a unique operation.
Buford sits at an elevation of 8,000 feet and is the highest town along Interstate 80 between New York and California. The area offers impressive views of the Rocky Mountains but is prone to extreme winds and frigid temperatures -- even by Wyoming standards.
Foul weather shuts down I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie at least a couple times during a typical winter. Each time that happens, Buford might as well be at the North Pole rather than next to one of the busiest cross-country thoroughfares in the U.S.
Assets up for sale will include a gas station and convenience store, a 1905 schoolhouse that has been used as an office, a cabin, a garage, 10 acres of land, a three-bedroom home, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/z6dCkL ).
Buford has its own ZIP code and post office boxes for people who live nearby.
It's a business opportunity that also offers a romantic lifestyle, said Amy Bates, chief marketing officer for Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Williams and Williams, which is handling the auction. Bidding will open at $100,000, she said.
"We're going to have a variety of people attracted to this property, based on what it would mean to them," Bates said.