Teensy, Tiny Town Sells on eBay For $360K
This isn't the first town -- nor, we expect, the last -- to sell on eBay's digital auction block. In 2003, the 82-acre California town of Bridgeville (population: 25) sold for $1.78 million; the 13-acre, one-person town of Albert, Texas sold in 2007 to a bidder from Italy for $3.8 million. And there are others -- mostly tiny, unincorporated townships.
Wauconda had a burgeoning population of 335 residents back in 1900, but it dwindled over the years to just a single owner. Daphne Fletcher bought the property in 2007 for $180,810, which included a gas pump, a restaurant, a small store, a four-bedroom house and its own ZIP code. But don't call it a ghost town; Fletcher claims that she took in about $300,000 gross per year with about a third of that coming from the gas station, store and restaurant. As tourists drive through during the summer months, the restaurant gets busy enough to employ five people.
Fletcher hasn't said exactly why she was selling Wauconda, but she intimated to the Seattle Times that running the restaurant caused her to become "a stress case." If Fletcher can't even handle the peripatetic bikers and cross-country travelers traversing through this Lilliputian township, we suggest that she never try food service work in Manhattan.
Fletcher listed the town on eBay on March 3, and bidding closed April 2. Out of 112 bids, a good handful were either errant, unserious or, at the end of the day, couldn't pony up the cash. (She even received an apologetic email from the parents of, potentially, the coolest kid ever, who had wanted to buy his parents their own town.) The auction finally went to the middle-aged biker couple Maddie and Neal Love for $360,000... whom we assume will have no problem handling the Hell's Angels rolling in each summer. As for Fletcher, she tells the Times that she's planning to buy an RV, seek out her estranged children and find herself. It all kind of sounds like a Fannie Flagg novel, doesn't it? [From: Seattle Times]