A family that has owned the Village of Reduction in Pennsylvania for nearly 70 years has decided to divest itself of the 75-acre property. The $1.5 million asking price includes farmland, 19 single-family homes and a 1914 one-room schoolhouse.
The village was once home to about 400 employees of the American Reduction Company. The company operated a plant that processed tons of garbage a day from Pittsburgh, before the city opened its own facility in 1936. Newspaper headlines at the time proclaimed it "The Town That Garbage Built,"
Current owner David Stawovy's father bought the property in 1948 for $10,000.
His father and grandfather operated a dairy farm on an adjacent plot of land, Stawovy told the Tribune Review. When his father expressed interest in buying one of the American Reduction homes, a company official asked him "Why don't you just buy them all?"
Stawovy said his children aren't interested in the property and his family can't afford to maintain it.
"I've done it all my life," he told the newspaper. "I've got to be the mayor, the fire marshal and the dog catcher."
About 60 people still live in the village, and most say they prefer to stay put.
Andrew Knopsnider has lived in the village for over two years in his cottage overlooking the Youghiogheny River.
"I'd like to stay," Knopsnider said. "It's nice and quiet and peaceful."
Real estate agent Deborah Dattalo said it's one of the more unusual listings she's handled.
"Everybody I talk to says, 'Oh, my gosh. What a great property,' " she said. "I think it's going to take the right buyer with the right vision for what can be done with it."