South Dakota ghost town for sale: $250,000 asking price

Swett, S.D., is once again for sale but at a reduced price. 

Eric Ginnard/Rapid City Journal/AP
A road marker highlights Swett, S.D.'s small borders. A businessman is now selling the small, southwestern South Dakota town for $250,000.

The southwestern South Dakota ghost town of Swett is once again for sale, and this time the asking price is a lot cheaper.

Swett is home to about 6 acres of land, an empty house reputed to be haunted and a closed bar. It first went on the market in June 2014, for $399,000. It generated interest around the world, but the three written offers fell through for various reasons.

Real estate agent Stacie Montgomery tells the Rapid City Journal that she's put the town back on the market, at a reduced price of $250,000.

Lance Benson is the sole owner of Swett, an unincorporated hamlet in Bennett County about two hours southeast of Rapid City. Benson — who bought the town in 1998, gave it to his ex-wife in their divorce and reclaimed it in 2012 — put the town on the market last week, he told the Rapid City Journal in 2014.

In the 1940s, the town had a population of 40 people, along with a post office, some houses and a grocery store. Over the years, ownership of the town concentrated to a single person until it wound up in Benson's hands about 16 years ago. Now, what remains is a bar, workshop, three trailers and a house, where Benson and his current wife live.

Although the town is a shell of its former self, its bar still serves as the only watering hole in a 10-mile radius. The Swett Tavern is still the de facto gathering place for local cowboys and wheat growers.

Swett is not the only town in the area put up for sale in recent years. In 2011, a Philippines-based church bought most of the town of Scenic.


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