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8 Most Remote Places to Live in America

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8 Most Remote Places to Live in America

Living in a clustered city is the only lifestyle most people know. They move to a neighborhood because it has a good school district, because job opportunities are better, or in order to be closer to a loved one. Humans, for the most part, are social creatures. However, there are the rare individuals who enjoy solitude, and would be just as happy to live as far away from the hustle and bustle of city life as possible. Some of these hermits live so remotely, they can’t be accessed by any conventional road, or they don’t have any modern day utilities. In fact, the only reason we even know they’re on the map may be due to the government’s attentiveness to the United States census.

  1. Holy City, California

    William E. Riker more or less founded Holy City, California in 1919, when he started a cultish religious base there called “The Perfect Christian Divine Way.” Located off of the Santa Cruz highway, Holy City once was a commune to as many as 300 of Riker’s devotees. They believed strongly in white supremacy, were entirely celibate, and did not drink. However, much controversy was ignited when Riker broke his own rule and married, causing a member of the commune, Frieda Schwartz, to sue him. Further, Riker was arrested in 1943 for being a sympathizer of Hitler. The publicity brought quite a bit of attention to Holy City, but after the excitement died down, the city shrunk in size until it was virtually bare of residents. In 1959, not only did Riker lose his land as a result of real estate complications, but a set of fires reduced Holy City to the few structures that now remain, including Riker’s old house, a shed, and a post office. Today, Tom Stanton is the only resident in Holy City aside from his three German Shepherd dogs. He has converted the old post office into an art glass shop where he sells glass pumpkins, among other creations.

  2. Chisana, Alaska

    Chisana is a stretch of unincorporated land deep within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Like many Alaskan locations, it is completely uninhabited, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1913, Chisana experienced a major gold rush that brought in about as many as 8,000 people. However, once the mining winded down, the 452 log cabins that were built during the duration of the rush became emptied. Between 2006 and 2010, the census recorded a population of zero in Chisana. It does receive the occasional visitor for recreational purposes, such as hunting. However, with no road access, it is typically more or less empty. A state-owned airstrip provides a landing spot for anyone visiting by private jet, but it isn’t maintained, and may not be in a good condition. It doesn’t get much more desolate than that.

  3. Hibbert’s Gore, Maine

    Karen Keller is the only inhabitant of Hibbert’s Gore, Maine, as reported by the census. The unincorporated, 640-acre patch where Keller lives provides a rustic lifestyle. Keller has no electricity and pumps her own water each day for drinking and showering. There are no stores, mailboxes, or street lamps, or any other facet of a regular town. Contrary to popular belief, Keller didn’t embark on her life of solitude in order to become a hermit or more in touch with nature. Rather, she battles with bipolar disorder, but refuses to take medication for her illness. As a result, living among people can be challenging, so she chose to live alone where she can deal with her illness by herself. Keller is now in her sixties, and does well living off the land. She shoots, cleans, and eats her own game and gardens fruits and vegetables. She is native to New York and received a bachelor’s degree in natural resources at the University of Michigan.

  4. Moonshine, Illinois

    Roy Lee and Helen Tuttle work in a country store in Moonshine, Illinois that they bought in 1982. It is the only building in town, not counting the outhouses, with Roy and Helen surmounting to the town’s entire population. Roy and Helen are happy to be Moonshine’s only residents, particularly since their country store is famous for its burgers and attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the country. They keep a guestbook documenting various people who have tried Helen’s “double Moonburger,” among other eats. Helen stops serving hot sandwiches at 12:30 sharp each day, but continues to serve cold cuts for stragglers. Move into this town, and you may outshine the two residents who run the only existing business.

  5. Buford, Wyoming

    Buford, Wyoming, with a population of one, finally surrendered ownership earlier this month when the actual town was auctioned off for $900,000. Included in the auction were the town’s postal boxes, a cellular tower with lease, five buildings, and around 10 acres of land. Don Sammons, the sole resident of Buford, guided the auction, and has lived in the town since 1980. He lived with his son until about seven years ago. Once his son moved away, Sammons had Buford to himself. Buford’s population was at its peak in the mid 1800s during construction of the Continental Railroad, but shortly after it was built, the workers moved on to different cities. The town was bought by a Vietnamese man excited about his potential to experience the American dream.

  6. Singapore, Michigan

    Singapore, Michigan was first inhabited about 175 years ago by Ottawa Indians. The lumber supply was its best natural resource, and once this supply was gone, Singapore was reduced to a ghost town. This happened in the 19th century shortly after it was struck by the four great fires of 1871. Likewise, a 40-day blizzard in 1842 would have all but wiped out the population had it not been for a nearby shipwreck with available food supplies to help tide the residents over. The town is now completely abandoned with no residents, leaving behind buildings covered by shifting sand dunes. Its only legacy remains in the bank notes that you can still sometimes find remaining from Singapore’s bank note scandal in 1838. If you’re looking for a place to live with some dune-covered, age-old structures but literally no inhabitants, Singapore, Michigan should fit the bill.

  7. Monowi, Nebraska

    Monowi, Nebraska has but one resident. Founded in 1902, Minowi is the nation’s only incorporated place with a population of one. It stands about five miles off the South Dakota border, and was a boom town at the start of the 20th century due to railroad traffic and its cattle-loading plant. In the length of that century, two fires burned down the town, young people moved away for lack of decent jobs, and in 1980, the population had been reduced to 18. By 2000, only two residents were left standing, Rudy Eilers and his wife Elsie. They owned a local tavern, Rudy served as honorary Mayor, and Elsie as treasurer. Sadly, Rudy died of cancer in 2004, leaving only Elsie to hold up the fort. Elsie works a variety of jobs, though, keeping the tavern in operation, running the local 5,000-book library supplied by Rudy’s personal collection, and works as mayor, a position in which she pays taxes to herself.

  8. Supai, Arizona

    If you’re looking for a slightly larger population, but still would prefer to be away from it all, Supai, Arizona is the place to be. With fewer than 500 occupants, Supai has no roads in or out, virtually eliminating the occurrence of any visitors. Likewise, it’s located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, so even if a brave soul trekked out in search of it, it would be rather difficult to access by foot. In fact, in order to do so, one would have to hike through the dessert for eight miles in the blazing sun. In a sort of antiquated necessity, Supai still receives its post by way of mule, and horses are the main mode of transportation. Even the U.S. Census had trouble contacting Supai, and accidentally recorded its population as zero in the year 2000.

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