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Buy your own town on eBay

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Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:36 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

HEAR YE, HEAR YE, small town for sale in California.

Yep, the small 83-acre Bridgeville, Calif., is posted on eBay for a starting bid of $1.75 million. Business man Bruce Krall, current owner, bought the 135-year-old town for $700,000 in 2004. He is advertising 83 acres, three cows, eight houses and a post office. Now home to 18 people, the town rarely goes up for sale and has had only three owners in the past 130 years.

The town has seven houses for rent, along with a 1,200 square-foot Main House. Four cabins, a vacant machine shop and vacant café are also part of the town for sale. The buyer can also claim a 1,500 square-foot wooden building, two Quonset huts and nine individual parcels.

Bridgeville has been privately owned for nearly a century. Henry Cox bought the town in 1909, and it remained in his family until his heirs sold it to antique dealer Elizabeth Lapple for $150,000 through a classified ad in the Los Angeles Times. Her family tried to sell the town in 2002, first through conventional real-estate channels, then on eBay, until Krall, a Laguna Hills mortgage banker bought it in 2004.

In Columbia, private land owners have the capability to sell their land on eBay, but the city does not. The city must first go through tight policies and laws before selling property or real estate, City Manager Bill Watkins said. If Columbia were to be sold, though, the political subdivisions, not including schools, are worth almost $1.4 billion. Columbia consists of an estimated 33,920 acres with a population of 84,531, the 2000 national census reported.

BRIDGEVILLE

After a little digging around, we found some interesting facts about Bridgeville and thought we ought to share, in case you had the spare $1.75 million to place a bid before May 6.

The town was founded in 1871, in the wake of California's 19th-Century Gold Rush and all 83-arces of it lies in Humboldt County, 260 miles north of San Francisco.

You won’t have many neighbors to argue with because — as the winning bidder — you’re elected as mayor since only about 20 people live there now, most leaving after logging jobs in the area have dried up.

The post office is the only business in the 135-year-old town, which has its own zip code: 95526. At its height, the town was a hub for a local stagecoach route and a stop on the Pony Express.

There is a school serving students from kindergarten to eighth grade nearby, as well as a fire station, but these are not part of the sale. Bridgeville has been privately owned for nearly a century. Henry Cox bought the town in 1909 and it remained in his family until his heirs sold it to antique dealer Elizabeth Lapple for $150,000 via a classified ad in the Los Angeles Times. Her family tried to sell the town in 2002, first through conventional real-estate channels, then on eBay, until Bruce Krall, a Laguna Hills mortgage banker finally bought it in 2004.

Name: Bridgeville

Current Owner: Bruce Krall

Population: About 20

Land size: 83 acres

Starting bid: $1.75 million

Source: www.bridgevilleretreats.com/


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