Tiny town (mostly) for sale

2:17 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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TOOMSBORO, Georgia (WXIA) - Residents of Toomsboro, Georgia woke up one morning to find their town dotted with for-sale signs -- some marked the specific properties being sold and others gave the contact number for those looking to buy.

The signs originally declared the "whole town" for sale, but homeowners quickly corrected that.

The post office, flower shop, convenience store and personal property are not on the list.

"It's not the entire town," said Clarice Harrison. "I live up the hill and it's not for sale."

The developer quickly added the word "almost" to the signs.

Still, almost the whole town is quite a bit.

There are 25 buildings in the collection: a train depot, bank, old grit mill, restaurant, an opera house that seats 500 and even a hotel rumored to have sheltered General Sherman.

Many of the buildings are more than 100 years old and fully restored.

Toomsboro is a tiny blink-your-eyes-and-it's-gone kind of town east of Macon.

Toomsboro Mayor Roger Smith said in the late 1950s, the school district consolidated, closing the school in town. Then the main employer left, taking the bank and businesses with it.

Still, many of its residents remained.

There are about 700 people living in Toomsboro today.

Most of them have lived there all their lives and can remember the bustling main street and Saturday night parties in the park.

"The town of Toomsboro has great potential," Smith said. "Just the little rustic community, we could have some antique shops here and draw people in."

The developer is open to anything, but with a price tag of $2.5 million, David Bumgardner is marketing more to movie and music studios.

It's not a new idea.

Actress Kim Bassinger bought the town of Braselton northeast of Atlanta in 1989 for $20 million.

She reportedly sold it five years later for only $1 million.

Bill Lucado, the previous owner of the Toomsboro properties and now broker for the sale, said this is different.

Lucado said there are still very few places where you can find this many original buildings in such good condition.

Plus, Toomsboro comes with a sense of community you simply can't buy.

"I really do hope something good will come of it. I really do," Harrison said.

The developer is working on creating a website to provide more information on the properties.


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