Garryowen, Montana, a tiny town near the banks of the Little Bighorn River will go up for auction later this month and with it the buyer will receive a historical landmark, the spot where U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer made his last stand.
The tiny town currently has just two residents after Malibu, California resident Chris Kortlander purchased the town in 1993 after a wildfire destroyed his home. According to Reuters the 54-year-old land owner is selling the property because of health issues and with the sale will come the rights to a gas station and convenience store, alongside a manuscript collection that includes papers of Custer’s wife, Elizabeth Bacon Custer.
Fun fact, Garryowen is one of the only U.S. monument sites outside of Arlington National Cemetery to feature the burial site of an unknown soldier.
The town is located between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
After buying the property Kortlander went on a buying spree in 2004, picking up thousands of manuscripts and documents alongside historic photographs that make up the Elizabeth Bacon Custer collection. Kortlander has not had the entire collection cataloged at this time but he believes a love letter between Custer and another woman may be included, along with various other shorthand copies of correspondence between Custer and his wife.
The collection also includes notes from 19th century frontiersman William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
The opening bid for the collection and property starts at $250,000. Online and onsite bidders can place their bids on August 15.