Ever wanted to be the owner of your own town where you can be the king, the sheriff and the mayor all at once? Well, this little timber town of Tiller might just be a dot on a map in southwestern Oregon, but is big enough to make all your power hungry fantasies come true!
The entire town is up for grabs at a price of $3.5 million and consists of six houses, the land under the post office, the shuttered general store and gas station, undeveloped parcels, water rights and other “public” infrastructure like sidewalks, fire hydrants, and even a small power station. For an additional $350,000 you can also buy the Tiller Elementary School which is a six-classroom building closed in 2014.
Many potential buyers have placed their bids on the area, but their identities are being kept hidden until the offer is accepted. The town itself was once an up and coming area located at the corner of the Umpqua National Forest, about 230 miles south of Portland. The first building of the area was a post office that opened in 1902, and then the miners, loggers, ranchers and farmers were attracted to the river side.
In the 1940s and 1950s, three timber mills were running with the town expanding and opening an elementary school and a new general store. Then in the late 1990s, strict environmental regulations caused the timber mills to close down, leading to the families moving away and the town turning into the haunted and desolate place it is today.
But one longtime resident still saw an opportunity in this and started buying up all the properties in the region. When he died three years ago, it was revealed that he owned most of the town.
And now his family has put all the 256 acres (1 square kilometer) area divided into 29 distinct parcels on sale along with the water and timber rights and a variety of zonings ranging from residential to industrial.
“Between the dying economy and the dying owners, Tiller became a new opportunity that had never been available before,” said Richard Caswell, executor of the estate. “I started getting inquiries from all over the world, essentially, ‘What was it? And what could you do with it?’ It’s the buyer and their imagination that’s going to determine what Tiller can become.”
The area has become a ghost town now, but there are still many people, up to 235 according to an estimate, who still prefer to live in the area where wild bears roam around on the roads and one has to drive for 30 minutes before getting a single smartphone signal bar.
The few residents still love the area for the closely knit society they have, as all the residents gather at the church over coffee and cinnamon rolls on Fridays. All 235 of them use the one-room post office to collect their mail and have a weathered farewell sign with a sense of humor sign saying
“Last one out of Tiller turn out the light.”
The future of the town is unclear, but there must be some attraction in the scenic and rustic place to justify a large number of bids from potential owners!