A South Dakota town for sale has captured nationwide headlines. Swett, now a ghost town, can be purchased for just $250,000. The town in the southwestern region of the state was originally listed for $399,000. After three prospective buyers fell through, the price for the six acres of land, an empty and allegedly haunted house, and a defunct bar was drastically reduced.
Swett, South Dakota, had a population of two before the last residents recently moved out. Real estate agent Stacie Montgomery told the Rapid City Journal that the ghost town has been cleaned up and put back on the market. Montgomery said that three aging mobile homes and an old transport truck have now been removed from the parcel.
When the South Dakota town was put up for sale last year, the real estate agent said she received hundreds of phone calls and emails about the listing. Some of the prospective buyers hailed from as far away as Russia, Australia, and China. Montgomery said that while she did receive some verbal offers, she never garnered a signed contract on Swett.
— KELO News (@keloland) November 30, 2015
Some of the potential buyers included individuals who wanted to live off-grid, people who dreamed of becoming the mayor of the South Dakota town, and production companies who wanted to film a reality show in Swett.
The South Dakota real estate agent said one Nebraska man said he want to buy the Swett ghost town and bring 2,000 Russian women and 600 convicted felons to live in the town. He wanted to build acrylic houses for the new residents to live in and set up cameras to run 24/7 and film the interactions, Syracuse.com reports.
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) November 30, 2015
“It’s been a year and a half and people still want to know about Swett. I think it’s helped my business,” Montgomery said while displaying a can koozie emblazoned with the phrases “Don’t let your can Swett” and “Town for Sale” printed on it.
She had 2,000 of the can holders made when she first listed the South Dakota town for sale, saying, “It’s been a year and a half and people still want to know about Swett.”
Swett was twice owned by Lance Benson. He lost the unincorporated town in his divorce, got it back in 2012, and then finally lost it for good last month to a Gordon, Nebraska, bank that held the note on the property.
Molly Geanne, 12, wrote a song, “One Man Town,” about Swett and posted the now-viral video to YouTube.
“Someone pitched a concept for a Dry Idea deodorant commercial, ‘Never let them see you Swett,'” Montgomery said. “One production company thought about rebuilding the town and calling it ‘Swett Equity.'”
A post office was established in the town’s grocery store owned by a farmer named Swett in 1932. In 1945, the government decided the town was too small for a post office and closed it. The town has largely been known for its popular bar, the Swett Tavern. While the bar goes with the South Dakota town in the sale, the all-important liquor license does not. The new owner will have full use of a large mechanic’s garage and the house, which locals believe is haunted.
The South Dakota ghost town encompasses 6.16 acres considered by many to be prime prairie land. Swett is located about two hours southeast of Rapid City. The town now boasts shiny new signs bearing its name along the road — the old ones were riddled with bullet holes.
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