This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
I recently learned that Mark Cuban, the billionaire and former owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, bought an entire “ghost town'” called Mustang for about $2 million in 2021.
Mustang is about an hour away from the part of Dallas I live in. But until now, I had never come across it — and almost nobody in my circles had, either.
The Census reports that Mustang’s population is zero, so maybe that makes sense.
Typically, I would file away this newfound knowledge in the recesses of my mind — an unusual story I could later impress my friends with over coffee or dinner.
But my curiosity refused to wane.
Numerous questions crowded my thoughts: Why would someone be interested in buying a town without people? Is it genuinely abandoned? What might be worth saving there?
I even reached out to Cuban by email to get some answers. He had little to say about it.
“I bought it to help out a basketball buddy who was dying of cancer, he needed it for his family,” Cuban, who Forbes said has a $6.2 billion net worth, told me. “I have zero plans for it, I haven’t ever been there.”
I did some reading. NBC News, who spoke with Mike Turner, a real-estate agent who brokered the deal, said that Cuban bought Mustang from the principal owner, Marty Price, a Dallas attorney and a devoted Mavericks season-ticket holder. The New York Times reported the reason: Price, who died in August 2021, apparently didn’t want to leave his wife and children a hard-to-maintain ghost town.
I wanted to know more, but Turner didn’t call me back.
In such moments, a saying often comes to mind, “The cure for ignorance is curiosity.”
So I went to Mustang. Yes, I hopped into my car, opened up Google Maps, and drove from my downtown Dallas apartment to a remote town that wasn’t even on my radar until last week.
Here’s what I found.
Mustang is approximately an hour’s drive south of Dallas, a major city packed with buildings — even its suburbs are dense. But Mustang is surrounded by roads with no buildings.
A back road in Angus, the town that neighbors Mustang. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
In rural Texas, you often see large, open pastures with cows and horses. When I got close to Mustang, I wasn’t surprised to see cattle ranches lining the roads.
Cows graze on some of the undeveloped land near Mustang. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
As I exited Interstate 45 and neared Mustang, I was excited to see a highway sign pointing toward the town. I thought I must be close.
Highway sign for Mustang and Angus. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
The excitement turned to confusion as I drove around for 30 minutes. I couldn’t pinpoint where Mustang and the adjacent town, Angus, began. Angus has 458 people, while, according to the most recent Census, Mustang has zero.
Google Maps screenshot of Mustang and Angus. Google Maps
Source: US Census Bureau
I tried driving down the few roads Google Maps has marked. They were unpaved, and I saw knocked-down signs and warnings to stay away. I saw a few houses, but no people.
This sign felt like a metaphor for my quest. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
Feeling frustrated, I asked a man working on the side of the road for directions to Mustang. He also had no idea but recommended checking out Stuckey’s, a longtime gas station and convenience store in Angus. But even the store’s clerk hadn’t heard of Mustang.
Stuckey’s, a gas station in Angus. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
I next approached the cashier at a grocery store in Angus, who was aware of Mustang. Victory! But all she could tell me was that it was deserted, with its most notable features being a now-demolished strip club and a fire station.
The grocery store in Angus where I asked for directions. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
At this point, I was desperate. I showed up at Angus’ city hall unannounced. Government officials would have answers, right?
Angus’ fire station and city hall are in the same building. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
At the city hall, I met Trina Kelley, a secretary who did not share her age — and refused to let me take her picture — but said she has lived in Angus since she was 9 years old.
The sign in front of Angus’ city hall. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
Kelley — who seemed elated to have someone to talk to — gave me the lowdown on both Angus and Mustang and showed me this map of the greater Angus area.
A map of Angus and Mustang. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
Kelley said Mustang is the area labeled Mustang Courts, about 75 acres in the middle of Angus
A close-up of a map of Angus and Mustang. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
Kelley explained that Mustang was originally a part of Angus but was disannexed in July 1973 because Mustang locals wanted the freedom to sell liquor, which Angus didn’t allow at the time.
An old sign for the city of Mustang. This photo is from 2006. LM Otero/Associated Press
In 2006, the Associated Press described Mustang as “carved from a pasture in 1973 to sell alcohol so a beer run was no longer a 60-mile drive to Dallas.” The town was “broke, withering and down to about 50 residents,” the AP reported.
Kelley said that the two cities became independent entities a few days after the disannexation.
A photo of Aubrey Smith, the mayor of Angus during Mustang’s disannexation. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
The 2006 Associated Press story described Mustang as having “two dusty streets, a strip club, a boarded-up country western bar, one trash bin and a dilapidated trailer park where the entire population lives.” It also had a shed for Mustang’s volunteer fire department, the Dallas Morning News reported.
News reports say that pretty much everything has since been razed.
I couldn’t find the strip club, Wispers Cabaret, which the Independent reported closed after “a 2008 murder in which a clubgoer was beaten to death that made headlines across the state.”
Kelley said Mustang has remained desolate for many years, never truly sustaining a substantial number of residents or buildings.
Mustang has been on the market multiple times in its history. This for-sale sign is from 2006. LM Otero/Associated Press
Before Cuban bought Mustang, it had been on and off the market since 2017.
Kelley said there is now nothing there, adding that Cuban recently agreed to let Angus keep its new fire truck on Mustang land.
Mark Cuban is a longtime investor on “Shark Tank.” Christopher Willard/Getty Images
Armed with Kelley’s information and a new perspective on the map, I hit the road again to try to see Mustang for myself. I passed Angus’ water tower for the fourth time.
Highway signs. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
On the drive to Mustang, I saw several “keep out” signs. What better way to know you’re in the South?
A “keep out” sign on a property in Angus. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
I thought my tires would burst driving down the unpaved country roads, but I made it. Behold: The sprawling patch of land that is Mustang.
I finally found Mustang — and it was totally empty. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
A few Angus homes surround the Mustang land, including this quaint house listed for $220,000.
A home for sale in Angus near Mustang. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
The area’s homes are mostly ranch-style or manufactured, with agricultural equipment in sheds outside and American and/or Texas flags flying out front.
Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
Before heading home, I decided to check out a nearby winery. I didn’t know this part of Texas was known for growing grapes.
A sign pointing to the Angelita Winery. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
I parked on the side of the road to check out some horses. One in particular gazed at me, almost as if it could sense I wasn’t from around here.
Horses on a ranch near the winery. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
I reached the winery, but unfortunately, it was closed. Just my luck. I still enjoyed its classic farmhouse-style architecture.
The entrance to Angelita Winery. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
I briefly stepped out of my car to admire the vineyard, but upon noticing a sizable dog, I promptly hopped back in. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I could see it chasing my car.
Angelita Winery. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
While returning to Dallas, I thought about what I had seen and learned about Mustang.
A highway sign for Dallas. Alcynna Lloyd/Business Insider
While I didn’t discover anything extraordinary, I found a quirky little city almost forgotten to time if not for a billionaire’s efforts.
A street sign from one of Mustang’s few roads is already dilapidated in this 2006 photo. The sign was not there when I visited in January 2024. LM Otero/Associated Press
It reminded me that there is hidden history like this all over Texas. Sometimes, you just have to work a little harder to find it.
A firefighter from Mustang’s now-disbanded fire department in a 2006 photo. LM Otero/Associated Press