History : In the year of 1847, James B. Gay, a civil engineer and a native of Indiana, journeyed to the unsettled Kickapoo Valley in southwestern Wisconsin. Here he was impressed by the acres of untouched forest which covered the hills and valleys. Finding a good rock bottom in the river, he decided to build a dam and a saw mill. He erected these about a rod above the present dam, and the saw mill proved to be a flourishing success. Because of his failing health, James B. Gay persuaded his brothers, John M. Gay and Thomas W. Gay, to come to the valley and help him in his business. Then in 1865, John M. Gay built the first flour mill just south of the saw mill. In the years between 1848 and 1865, many families had moved to this little community, which by mutual consent, bore the name of Gays Mills in honor of its founder and his brother. Today, Gays Mills is rich in history and rich in natural activities. Apple picking, berry picking, mushrooming, hiking, cross country skiing, biking, turkey hunting, horseback riding, snowmobiling, deer hunting, spelunking, fossil collecting and viewing of beautiful fall colors are all here. In addition, the Kickapoo River offers walleye, smallmouth bass, trout, pike and catfish for the fisherman and is one of the countrys windingest rivers (70 miles by road and 120 miles by river), which makes it great for the canoe enthusiast. Come and enjoy Gays Mills in Wisconsins Hidden Valleys.