February 04, 2018

Bruford Wyoming. Population: 1


David Ellis

IT'S got a population of 1, has a State-erected sign leading into town to prove it, and officially it's the smallest town in America – yet it's got a general store that can deal with crowds reaching a thousand or more a day.

This seeming conundrum is Buford that sits 2,400m high (8000 feet) in the mountains between Laramie and Cheyenne in Wyoming, and which in the late 1800s and early 1900s was rail-company-owned with a population of over 2000 during building of America's first Transcontinental Railway.

But when no new rail work was required the town slowly died, and in 1992 it's only resident bought what was left – a convenience store and gas station, circa-1905 schoolhouse, a 1900's cabin and later era 3-bedroom home, a parking lot, and a bank of Post Office boxes for "locals" scattered through the surrounding  mountains.

Twenty years later in 2012 that owner put the whole town to auction again, two Vietnamese businessmen this time bidding a successful $900,000 against other hopefuls from an amazing 46 countries who all had one thing in mind: they wanted to own their own town.

The Vietnamese duo spruced up the general store, started importing Vietnamese coffee, and not only created a highly successful coffee-stop for Interstate 80 drivers, but actually re-named the town PhinDeli Town Buford after their coffee's brand.

Today neither owner lives there, their 1-man trading post being run on their behalf and selling coffee, snack and convenience items, and fuel to some 1000 motorists a day in summer, and a hundred or so a day in the cooler (read freezing) climes of winter.

For information about wonderfully picturesque Wyoming and its many other must-visit attractions: www.travelwyoming.com


[] BUFORD is officially America's smallest town with a population of just 1 – yet a thousand visitors a day can stop-by here. (ABCNews)

[] THE Trading Post is the only business in town, and was spruced-up by its new owners who paid $900,000 for the whole of the town in 2012. (Flickr)

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