Town of Story is tranquil, historic and, at $3.8 million, for sale

Story, Indiana (Photo: WTHR)
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STORY, Ind. (WTHR) - "What is my role here? My role is over," said Rick Hofstetter. "I've had 20 years. I put my stamp on it."

Hofstetter has quite a story to tell. After all, he bought the town of Story out of foreclosure 20 years ago and now he's putting it up for sale.

It's not every day you find a town like Story, Indiana. The entire town, population 3, is a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

And now it's for sale.

"It's not every day someone gets to buy a town. I've had that experience. Now I want to live long enough to sell a town," said Hofstetter, the town's owner.

There is quite a story to Story. It all started when President Millard Fillmore signed a land patent in 1851. Hofstetter entered this picture 148 years later, on February 14, 1999.

"This is when the love affair started with it, Valentine’s Day," Hofstetter admitted.

For the last 20 years, Hoosiers have been coming to Story to get away from it all and stay in one of its 14 guest cottages.

"I'd move out tomorrow if I had the money," said Robert Clements, Franklin, who was walking the grounds with his wife, Patricia.

"Very tranquil, love it," Patricia added.

"OK, it might be tough getting a cell phone to work here. If you go to the rooms, you will not find a television in any of them, but we encourage people to drink in the experience. Stop all that junk of clearing out your inbox of spam and relax," said Hofstetter.

We should clarify: the town is for sale, but the Story Inn is not.

The Clements said they would move here in a heartbeat. We told them $3.8 million could make that happen.

"Not today," they responded, with hearty laughs.

"The business will have the same relationship with the town as Macy's does with the mall. It will be a tenant and we offer lease payments, so whoever buys this will take it with restrictions but there will be cash flow," Hostetter explained.

Restrictions? Well, Hofstetter says he wants the spirit of Story to stay.

"There is nothing but opportunity, just because it is so scarce. This is the real McCoy. It's not a make-believe place. Somebody out there will sense opportunity and they won't want to change its essence," said Hofstetter.

"I love the barn back there. That is just amazing. Nice place for a wedding," Patricia whispered.

"Now, we are already married, so we just don't need that," husband Robert deadpanned.

So what's next for the town of Story?

"I truly believe this is the most beautiful spot in the state. We are sitting at it, right here right now, surrounded by Brown County State Park on one side and the Hoosier National Forest on the other," Hofstetter said as he kicked back in his chair.

And it's for sale.

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