Brian M. Powell/Wikimedia
A once thriving coal town in the late 1800s, Thurmond went from hundreds of residents to just five, according to a 2010 census. The reason for the town's demise was diesel. In the 40s and 50s, as trains converted from coal to more-reliable diesel, Thurmond's main customers were trains that came through the railway depot to collect locally mined coal, with the final steam-powered train making its last run in 1958. The remaining residents are committed to the town -- in 2005, six of the seven remaining townies ran for public office.