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 Wednesday, 25 December, 2002, 11:55 GMT
California town for sale on eBay
The town of Bridgeville California is for sale on eBay
The sale is the first of its kind on the site
A town in California is for sale on the online auction site eBay in what a company spokesman says is a first-of-its-kind event.

The seller of lot 1791801094 proclaims: "Own the entire rustic town of Bridgeville, California."

In fact, not quite all of the town is for sale. The lot's 82 acres include 10 houses and four cabins plus a postcode.

Be prepared to do a lot of work to get the town into sparkling condition

Seller's description
Heavy machinery and "generous supply of maintenance parts are included" as well, and the seller admits frankly that "many of the structures included with the town could be described as fixer-uppers.

"Be prepared to do a lot of work to get the town into sparkling condition," the seller warns.

Company spokesman Chris Donlay said eBay had never handled an auction quite like this one before.

"We've seen lots of houses and buildings and we've seen land and we've seen bridges, but not a town," he told the Associated Press news agency.

Reserve not met

With two days to go before the auction ends on 27 December, Bridgeville had not yet met its reserve price, the lowest offer the seller will accept.

After 134 bids since 27 November, the top offer was $521,900 - about the price of a three-bedroom house in San Francisco, 420 kilometres (260 miles) south of Bridgeville.

It's gorgeous out here, and it's so quiet

Rose Clark,
postmistress
Sellers do not reveal the reserve price in auctions, but AP says it is $775,000.

The seller says the town could serve as a private retreat, money-making venture or tax shelter.

But residents say there is not much left to the 130-year-old town.

Unemployment

Only a few people live there after logging jobs in the area dried up, and the post office is the only business in operation now.

Some of the houses have been declared uninhabitable.

But Rose Clark, who runs the post office, thinks it would make an ideal bed-and-breakfast.

"It's gorgeous out here, [with] the river and the bridge, and it's so quiet," she told AP.

Founded in 1871, 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 the present owners, the Lapple family, in 1972.

See also:

11 Dec 02 | Business
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08 Jul 02 | Business
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