This Indiana town only has 3 residents — and it's now up for sale for $3.8 million

WTHRStory, Indiana
  • A tiny town with only three residents is up for sale in Indiana.
  • The town, called Story, boasts a history dating back to the 19th century.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

The town of Story, Indiana – despite its name – has quite the story all on its own.

First off, Story only has three residents. Second, that town of three is up for sale for $US3.8 million.

Story’s origins date back over a century ago, to a young doctor named George P. Story who moved with his family from Ohio to Brown County, Indiana, a rural enclave nestled among acres of rolling forests that was originally acquired from Native American tribes at the turn of the 19th century. In 1851, Story received a land grant of 173 acres from the government to settle a town, which he fittingly named after himself.

Over the years, the town of Story grew to include a post office, school house, grain mill, saw mill, and general store – but the agricultural community never topped more than 175 residents. As the Great Depression ravaged the country, many people abandoned Story in search of jobs, threatening the end of the town all together.

But, Story persisted and, after a local couple purchased the general store in 1978, the town experienced a small revival. In 1999, an Indianapolis lawyer named Rick Hofstetter purchased the town.

“It’s not every day someone gets to buy a town,” Hofstetter told the NBC-affiliate station WTHR. “I’ve had that experience. Now I want to live long enough to sell a town.”

During his tenure as Story’s owner, Hofstetter set out to rebrand Story as a unique tourist destination. The town boasts 19th-century charm, complete with the Story Inn bed-and-breakfast that promises visitors “the best preserved example of a 19th Century village that survives in the American Midwest.” Story is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But, beware: Hofstetter warned the Chicago Tribune that the Story Inn has a resident ghost, Story’s wife Jane Story. The Inn staff calls her the “Blue Lady” and she has been a regular fixture in the town for decades.

So, who is interested in buying a town?

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