Pulga has a population of 2, Lorraine and her companion of more than 20 years, Fred Leidecker. They really love the place but they are 75 years old now and it's just too hard for them now to do all that needs doing on the 62 acres of land that is Pulga.
Pulga is one mile off of Highway 70. It was founded in 1885 by William King and was always tiny. He built a small log mill which he and his family worked while also just living off the land. During the construction of both Highway 70 and the Union Pacific railroad tracks along the Feather River, the population was a few hundred (1930's-40's). These folks were stationed there while they did their work. Some folks have lived in Pulga off and on drawn by the Jade mines around the area. Below is a picture of "Pulga Jade."
Pulga is on unincorporated land in Butte County, CA inside the Plumas National Forest. There are a number of buildings including an old school house, and old bath house and some cabins. It's a gorgeous area, even though Pulga is the Spanish word for flea. You'd think something must be wrong with the place but there's not. It is named after the Flea Valley Creek which runs along town.
Fred Leidecker came to Pulga with Lorraine to start the Mystic Retreat School of Hypnotism. It had it's run and did well enough. There are four livable buildings that currently have electricity. Some of the cabins were damaged by falling trees while another was taken out by a mud slide. Fred says the best thing about Pulga is the spring water which tastes better than any tap water anywhere. Pulga has been a nice place to live for centuries. On main street is a "grinding rock" used by Indians. Here's a picture of it below.
This is a perfect place to be off the grid. There is ample fresh spring water, the Flea Valley Creek and the North Fork of the Feather River a mile away. Plenty of sunshine for growing everything you'd need to eat plus you could still live off the surrounding land if you wanted to.
Lorraine bought the place 21 years ago from a realtor in Paradise. The very same realtor sold it for them. They asked $499,000 (about double what Lorraine paid). It didn't take long to sell really. The realtor said there was "considerable interest." They'd only placed it on the market in late October and now the place sold for the full asking price to folks from Minnesota. The new owners haven't said what they intend to do with the place, but what a serious opportunity to make a community or retreat. Below is a picture of the Highway 70 bridge and the Union Pacific bridge as seen from Pulga. These bridges are famous and have their pictures taken a lot. They've even been copied for model rail road enthusiasts.
My dreams of owning Pulga are over. I'd joked about some of us kossacks getting together and buying it. With 4 functioning cabins, it would be perfect for able-bodied folks with energy and a vision to really transform Pulga into a shangri-la. Four people could have invested $125,000 each. I could see being fully off the grid while creating a serious organic farm and orchards. Enough food could be grown to live and also sell at farmer's markets in Chico and Paradise.
Of course, it would be a perfect place for a retreat. I can imagine having all sorts of small niche retreats for anyone who wanted to earn some income that way. Or it could even be a bed and breakfast place with each guest having their own small cabin. Open land is all over the area. The weather is really pleasant, and you don't have to worry about running out of water here.