Monday, June 30, 2014

For sale: Rural South Dakota town where 'the highway ends and the Wild West begins'

Strange things turn up for sale all the time. In this case it's an entire rural town. And it's not a joke. The South Dakota town of Swett—with a population of two— located in the southern part of the state in Bennett County, is up for sale for $400,000 by its sole owner, who says he wants to focus more time on his traveling concession business, Daniel Simmons-Ritchie reports the Rapid City Journal. (Journal photo by Eric Ginnard)

"Like many rural towns in America, Swett has shrunk dramatically over the past century as its inhabitants migrated to urban centers," Simmons-Ritchie writes. "Once a town of about 40 people in the 1940s—with a post office, a few houses and a grocery store—the town now stands as little more than a few ramshackle buildings along U.S. Highway 18." (Wikipedia map: Bennett County)

The bar, the Swett Tavern, is the only one within a 10-mile radius. Customer Gerry Runnels said despite the changes in the town over the years, the "bar has always maintained a distinctly local veneer; a place where cowboy hats are de rigueur and rusted wagon wheels adorn the front facade," Simmons-Ritchie writes. Runnels told him, "This place is pretty much where the highway ends and the Wild West begins." (Read more)

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