If you ever get the feeling that you’re on your own, then spare a thought for Don Sammons.
The hamlet of Buford in Wyoming is not even a sparsely-populated area. It’s a single-populated area, as the 60-year-old is the only man, woman or child living there.
But even though the ‘population one’ hamlet is 8,000ft up a cold mountain, he denies feeling lonely and runs an isolated petrol station and convenience shop.
One man town: Don Sammons, 60, is the only resident of Buford, Wyoming, but he denies feeling lonely
In store: He lives 8000ft up a cold mountain and runs an isolated petrol station and convenience store
Mr Sammons left Los Angeles in 1980 with his wife and bought the tiny town with six buildings to escape their busy lifestyle.
When the couple moved there were seven people living in Buford working for a railroad that passes nearby, but they all moved away to bigger towns by the mid-1990s.
Then his wife died 15 years ago and his son, now aged 26, moved to Colorado three years ago. So that left Mr Sammons in Buford on his own.
He gets about 1,000 visitors a day to the village during the summer, which has a billboard proclaiming his small empire, but this drops to around 100 during the winter.
Visitors: Buford attracts people 'intrigued to find this place in the middle of nowhere near the top of a mountain'
Short journey: Mr Sammons lives in a three-bedroom log cabin and has a commute of just 200 yards to work
‘They stop because they're intrigued to find this place in the middle of nowhere near the top of a mountain,’ he said. ‘We sell all kinds of souvenirs from hats to mugs. The post card is our best seller.
’I'm glad to go back to my house after a 10-hour day talking to folks so I can get some peace and quiet. After I close I'm the only guy for miles around. And I like it that way.’
Mr Sammons turned a school house, which operated between 1905 and 1962, into his office and made another old store built in 1895 into a four-car garage.
He lives in a three-bedroom log cabin and enjoys a commute of 200 yards to his workplace. ‘I'm the king of the castle here,’ he said.
On his own: But the village is far from lonely as Mr Sammons gets about 1,000 visitors a day during the summer
Locator map: Buford, in Wyoming, was named after Civil War general John Buford and was first formed in 1866
Buford was formed in 1866 as military outpost ‘Fort Sanders’, to protect workers building a railroad.
It was once home to 2,000 people - most of them foreign migrant rail workers – a post office was built in 1880. The town was named Buford after Civil War general John Buford following the opening.
The town was sold to a private buyer by the railroad company in 1970 and Mr Sammons arrived with his wife ten years later after working in the moving business in California.
‘In winters the winds often blow at 70mph giving us a wind-chill factor of minus 20,' he said. 'Only the strong survive up here.
’It was in the middle of nowhere but we loved it immediately. I saw we could enjoy a slow pace of life with our horses, dogs and cats yet make a decent living from our gas station and convenience store.'
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