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

By: Laura Moss on Dec. 22, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
The gas stations in PhinDeli Town Buford want you to know where you are.

Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Wikimedia Commons [CC by 1.0]

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PhinDeli Town Buford, Wyoming

Buford was originally 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. The town's entire amenities — 10 acres and five buildings — were purchased and the town renamed by Phạm Đình Nguyên, a Vietnamese businessman in 2013.

Buford, as it was then known, was purchased by Don Sammons when he left Los Angeles in 1980 in search of a quieter lifestyle. 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. Following his wife death's and his son moving away, Sammons was completely alone.

In 2012, Sammons put the entirety of Buford's holdings up for sale, and after competitive bidding, the town was sold to Nguyên. After a year of quiet, Nguyên announced that he had purchased the town and renamed the town PhinDeli Town Buford as a way to promote PhinDeli-brand coffee.

As of 2017, the town's only resident is Brandon Hoover, and he runs PhinDeli Town Buford's gas station. Ironically, the town's manager, Jason Hirsch, actually lives three miles south of town.