The name "Garryowen" comes from the Irish drinking song used as the fighting song of Custer's 7th Cavalry at the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads established a station on the Little Bighorn River in 1895 and named it after the song; the station provided water to trains and off-loaded troops, supplies and mail.
Garryowen has been in private hands since 1926, the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It is the only town within the perimeter of the battlefield and is located in the same area that Sitting Bull's encampment once stood. The first shots of the battle were fired by Major Reno and his detachment a few yards away from today's Garryowen.