Map hows “The Strip”, a fenced area six miles wide and eighty-seven miles long across the northern tier of townships in Dewey and Ziebach Counties from eastern Perkins County line to old Evarts below Mobridge on the east side of the Missouri River. Thousands of head of cattle were trailed down this “Strip” each year to the pontoon bridge or ferry on the Missouri, then loaded at the railroad shipping point of Evarts and sent to eastern markets.
This same railroad company held a lease on the whole north tier of townships on the Cheyenne Reservation so it provided a strip of land (called the “Strip”) 87 miles long and 6 miles wide, fenced on both sides, to be used as a driveway in trailing the large herds from the west of the Missouri to Evarts. Herds were moved down the Strip about twelve miles a day. Watering places were provided on the Strip about every twelve miles either by natural streams or dams built by the railroad.
Starting on the west bank of the Missouri at Evarts, the Strip extended on a straight line to the west passing through and beyond the present Isabel area. All of the large cow outfits used the Strip for bringing in cattle in the spring for grazing or shipping out to market in the fall.
When the Missouri was high in the spring, the cattle crossed the river on ferry boats or barges equipped with pens capable of carrying 500 head. In the fall when the water was low the cattle were crossed on pontoon bridges constructed by fastening several barges together. The vast cattle empire gradually came to an end with the coming of the homesteaders; the fencing along the Strip was sold to the settlers for use on their small acreages.
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