Check out the Nebraska Ghost Town With Only ONE Resident [PICS]
Living in the middle of nowhere entirely by yourself might creep some people out, but for Monowi, Nebraska's only resident, 85-year-old Elsie Eiler, it's been a way of life since 2004--when the town's only OTHER resident, her husband Rudy, passed away.
I kid you not, Eiler is the single, solitary person living in Monowi, a village in the northern part of Nebraska. The latest United States Census indeed records the town's population at 1--the sign is not an accident.
According to The Travel, it's the 529th largest city in Nebraska and the 19496th largest city in the United States. Monowi is a .21 square mile village--with exactly one resident (get it? MONOwi). It's also one of three towns in Boyd County, Nebraska to have a population of less than 10. Eiler actually follows all the protocols to keep it running as an actual incorporated town, where she is mayor, clerk, treasurer, librarian, and bartender.
She has to produce and deliver a municipal road plan to the state every year to secure state funding, and personally pay about $500 in taxes to keep utilities, lights, and water running. Yes, there is even a tavern and most of its clientele consists of farmers from surrounding areas, so at least she occasionally does have some company.
Besides the bar and library, what else can you do in Monowi?
Honestly, not much. The other tourist attractions are the abandoned buildings being eaten away by insects, and the open fields that believe it or not, people actually enjoy wandering. That would freak me out in a town all by myself but Elsie gets along just fine.
Concentration won't be a problem at this library.
BBC Travel accounts for why Monowi has lost so many people. During the Great Depression, it and many other rural communities like it were facing deterioration and the exodus of its residents seeking better conditions. Further mass exoduses continued in the '60s and '70s when the three grocery stores all gradually closed up shop, along with the post office, church (her father's funeral was the last one held there, in 1960), and the school. Eiler's closest family lives 90 miles away but she chooses not to ditch Monowi. Why?
As long as I’m able to be here, this is where I really want to be. I guess it’s harder to change your habits when you get older.
Can I live in Monowi?
You actually can! While nothing is "on the market" per se', Elsie Eiler is keeping a "database" of vacant lots, in case someone wants to move there. But you're going to have to do A LOT of work to make anything livable so it's probably best left as a single-resident tourist site and trivia piece at this point.