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12 U.S. places where your visit could double the population

By: Laura Moss on Aug. 1, 2011, 11:06 a.m.
Buford, Wyoming

Photo: markcbrennan/Flickr

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Buford, Wyo.

The tiny town of Buford is an unincorporated community that was formed as a military outpost in 1866 to protect railroad workers. It was named after Civil War General John Buford and was once home to 2,000 people; these days, it’s home to just one.

Don Sammons left Los Angeles in 1980 in search of a quieter lifestyle, and he certainly found it in Buford. He and his wife bought the tiny town that consisted of six buildings and seven people, but by the mid 1990s, everyone except Sammons, his wife and son had moved on. Fifteen years ago his wife passed away, and three years ago his 26-year-old son moved to Colorado, leaving Sammons completely alone. But Sammons says he loves the slow pace of windy little Buford and he’s never lonely. He runs a gas station and convenience store that gets about 1,000 visitors a day during the summer, but in the winter his visitors drop to about a 100 day due to Buford's freezing winds that reach speeds of up to 70 mph.