Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Miles City's No Man Land
Not many of the folks who picnic in Riverside Park in the summer months have any idea of the early history of this beautiful park. The history of Riverside Park goes back to the time soon after the establishment of Fort Keogh, when the government abandoned all that part of the ten mile square reservation, which had been set apart for military purposes, lying on the east side of Tongue River. The reservation originally ran as far east as the section line which constitutes Haynes Avenue, but after the fort was built, through army and political influence, that portion of the reservation lying east of Tongue River was abandoned and thrown open to settlement, with the exception of a ferry boat landing which embraced the land now constituting Riverside Park. Immediately following the abandonment of the land east of Tongue River, the settlement "Old Town" was moved up to the present site of Miles City and business houses were established along the north side of Main Street facing what is now known as Riverside Park, and the east side of Fifth Street facing the park. Inasmuch as the government retained jurisdiction over the ferry landing (or the present park site) and civil authorities such as they were in Miles City at that time, had no jurisdiction over any happenings on that land, and the army was too busy at Fort Keogh to assume any jurisdiction. As a consequence, whenever an argument arose in one of the saloons or honky-tonks, opposite the park, and the participants in the argument desired to settle their differences, they would repair to the property across the street and there settle it in any manner which they deemed best -- by fist fight, knife or gun duel, horse race, foot race or just a plain cussing match -- without interference of the law either civil or military. After the army no longer needed the land, it was turned over to the city. How the city acquired title to the land will be the subject of another story.