A town with a population of 1. That’s Buford, Wyoming, which sits at exit 335 on I-80, about halfway between Laramie and Cheyenne. It’s a fun stop to make, even though the only thing to do is stop into the convenience store, fill up your gas tank, or pose with the sign.
Buford wasn’t always such a lonely place. It was founded in 1866 during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. It once had a population of 2,000 but had dwindled to just a few people by the 1980s. The post office, which was built in 1900, closed down in 2004.
Don Sammons, who moved to Buford in 1980, bought all 9.9 acres of the town in 1992. After his wife died in 1995 and his son moved away in 2007, he became the sole resident.
Sammons decided to move closer to his son in 2012, so he put the town up for auction. It fetched US$900,000 from two Vietnamese men. One of the men was, Phạm Đình Nguyên, the owner of PhinDeli brand coffee. He saw this as a unique opportunity to promote his coffee in the US, and later renamed the town PhinDeli Town-Buford. The convenience store sells the coffee and Buford memorabilia, including Sammons’ book.