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Town still for sale

Real estate broker Juli Doty grew up in the small town of Monse, Wash., close to orchards and the Columbia River. What was once a rural town has dwindled to a population of 12. It generated a big buzz when the entire town went up for sale on EBay -- but no one bought it. “It’s sad that it dissipated,” said Doty, who pushed to see the town purchased and redeveloped. Broken up into smaller pieces, though, the community is getting new life from a couple of buyers. (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)
A street sign in Monse, Wash., tells potential buyers where they are in relation to everywhere else. (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)
Janet Jordan, an insurance agent from nearby Brewster, Wash., bought the circa-1900 schoolhouse in Monse along with enough property to keep her two horses. “I’d love to restore that schoolhouse,” she says. “A contractor told me it would be a labor of love.” (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)
Jordan is one of two buyers who have bought pieces of the town of Monse, Wash.; the other is a retiree who bought a house with his family. The town was originally put up for sale as a single lot, but no one closed a deal; the weary owners carved it into several pieces. (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)
The sellers initially asked $575,000 for the cluster of buildings on 60 acres in Okanogan County, Washington; the land includes apple, apricot, pear, cherry, and peach orchards. Once the town was a trading post, then a supply center for homesteaders. Its auction on EBay attracted attention, including a regional television special in 2003 that still pops up in reruns. (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)