About This Place
Gays Mills is a village in Crawford County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 625 at the 2000 census.
In 1847 James B. Gay, a native of Indiana, built a dam and a sawmill on the Kickapoo River, which proved to be a flourishing success. When his health started to fail, James convinced his brothers John and Thomas to move to the area. In 1865 John Gay built the first flour mill south of the saw mill. In 1872 Thomas Gay and family organized the First Congregational Church, the first church in Gays Mills and in 1898 the church building itself was finished. In the years between 1848 and 1865, many families moved into the community, which came to be known as Gays Mills in honor of the founder and his brothers.
Gays Mills was also the home of the Twining apple-growing family. One of the Twinings took his apples to the World's Fair, where they were a great success, generating mild fame for Gays Mills. Twining and he companions are honored with a historical marker on a hill overlooking the village. Consequently, apples are grown heavily in Crawford County, with numerous commercial orchards surrounding the village.