Lifestyle

You Can Buy a Tiny Village with a Population of 3 for $3.8 Million

Humans are social creatures, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a measure of isolation. Just look at the super-small habitations scattered across the world.

For instance, an 81-year-old widow lives all by herself on the Doko Islands between South Korea and Japan. The United States has its own sparsely populated locations, including Brewster, Florida, (which is home to three people), Freeport, Kansas (four people), and Funkley, Minnesota (five people).

However, it’s not often that you can actually buy one of these itty-bitty locations. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the tiny village of Story, Indiana.

According to Fox News, the 17.4-acre hamlet in the Hoosier State is on the market for $3.8 million. Though that sounds a bit exorbitant, consider how it would hardly net you a flat in major markets such as New York.



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What’s more, the village has something of a “storied” history. Founded in 1851, it once hosted 175 residents and was a logging community.

It survived a devastating fire in 1915, but the Great Depression left its mark on the small community, nearly emptying it.

Since 1999, though, when Rick Hofstetter bought the village at sheriff’s auction, only three people have lived there. Hofstetter, along with Kate and Jacob Ebel, has run the Story Inn ever since, a bed and breakfast whose website tagline proudly states, “One inconvenient location since 1851.”

“Words don’t quite do it justice,” Hofstetter, now 62, told WANE. “The experience is one you have to enjoy for yourself.”

“This place is now 168 years old and my love affair with it is just a tiny part of that. … This is not a reconstruction of an authentic little town, this is an authentic little town.”

You might think that living in such a little location might get lonely. But the listing page for Story claims it gets plenty of traffic.

It states, “Story presently hosts a remarkable number of events each year, including the Indiana Wine Fair, Maple Syrup Festival, 40 to 50 weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, comedy shows, Indiana Trail Riders events, and much more.” Most of its older structures have been reworked to draw in tourists.



In addition to the inn, the village has an ancient dairy barn converted into a wedding venue. You won’t find much in terms of modern conveniences either.

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Most cell phones barely get reception, and no one in Story owns a personal television.

According to the New York Post, Hoffstetter plans to continue to run the inn even after someone purchases Story. “The town’s fortunes should be decoupled from our hospitality operations,” he said.

“Macy’s doesn’t own the mall.” He also added, “It’s not every day someone gets to buy a town.

“I’ve had that experience. Now I want to live long enough to sell a town.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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