Bidding On Calif. Town Closes At $1.8M

Victoria Gotti and her sons in a promotional photo taken for their A&E reality series "Growing Up Gotti." The bestselling author's latest book, "This Family of Mine," hits bookstores on Sept. 29. Gotti Family

Last Updated Dec 24, 2002 3:07 PM EST

The frenzied bidding for a tumbledown Northern California town closed at nearly $1.8 million Friday on eBay.

If the deal goes through, 82 acres of Bridgeville will go to the unidentified buyer who put in a bid for $1,777,8777 just seconds before the Internet auction closed.

Bridgeville is the first town to be sold on the Web site, said eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove.

Almost 250 bids were placed during the month that the town was on the electronic auction block.

The town, which owner Elizabeth Lapple acknowledged is a fixer-upper, comes complete with a post office, a mile and a half of riverbank, a cemetery and more than a dozen cabins and houses, occupied mostly by renters. "Your own ZIP code will now be 95526," the eBay description reads.

The town's price went well beyond the specified minimum of $775,000.

Bridgeville is 260 miles north of San Francisco in rural Humboldt County. Lapple and her husband, Joe, have owned the town since 1985.

They said they put the town up for auction because they couldn't afford the estimated $250,000 cost of renovating it.

The scenic community along a tree-shaded bend of the Van Duzen River was promoted on eBay as a potential retreat, money maker or tax shelter.

Joe Lapple said he hopes the new owner will fix up the town, which dates to the 19th century. But the Lapples will not be hanging around to find out; they have bought a new home in Fortuna, about 25 miles away.

"We were just waiting to sell this town and pack up all our stuff and be gone," Joe Lapple said.
  • Joel Roberts

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