South Dakota ‘ghost town’ for sale; price reduced

South Dakota ‘ghost town’ for sale; price reduced

Sixteen months after the tiny West River South Dakota town of Swett was first offered for sale — lock, stock and bar — generating media attention from Maine to Moscow, it’s back on the market at a deep discount, according to Montgomery.

Twice owned by Lance Benson, who lost the unincorporated hamlet in a divorce, gained it back in 2012, then lost it again last month to the Gordon, Neb., bank that held the mortgage, Swett is now a ghost town with a closed tavern, an empty haunted house, 6.16 acres of prime prairie real estate and a price tag that has been dropped from $399,000 to $250,000. …

[W]hat kind of person would buy an entire town?

“Some of the types of individuals who have been interested in the past included people who wanted to be their own mayor, people who wanted to live off-grid, several production companies thinking about reality shows, hunters who wanted to create a hunting lodge, or somebody who wants to own a bar,” Montgomery said.

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According to the real estate listing for Swett, a post office was established in the local grocery store in 1932, owned by a farmer named Swett. In 1945, the government decided the town was too small and closed the post office. Since that time, Swett has been known for the popular Swett Tavern. The property, which comes with the tavern, without its liquor license, also includes a large garage and a residence that locals believe to be haunted.

“They even installed shiny new town signs for Swett,” Montgomery said. “The old ones had bullet holes in them.”

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