A community in Keweenaw County is the focus of our next U.P.’s Tiny Towns. It’s a place where the year round population is under 100.
Welcome to Gay, Michigan. Rob Middlemis-Brown is the Sherman Township Supervisor.
He says, “Joseph E. Gay was the founder of the little town here.”The Gay smoke stack is all that’s left from a mill years ago. Now, ships use it for navigation.
Middlemis-Brown says, “It’s used by people here as a landmark. You can see it up and down the shoreline.”
In Gay you’ll also find stamp sand. When the mill was up and running copper and rock would be pounded by a piece of machinery called a stamp. The black sand that was created was dumped into Lake Superior. It now forms a black sand beach.
For a lot of people a must do is getting their picture in front of the Gay Bar sign. The Gay parade on the Fourth of July is also an event people say you’ll want to experience.
Larry Molloy is the President of the Keweenaw County Historical Society. He says, “In terms of the number of people in the parade it’s very very small. But, honestly you can not walk the streets of this town on the Fourth of July.”
The old schoolhouse in town is being restored by the Keweenaw County Historical Society. Molloy says, “We’re also using one of the big classrooms on the second floor as a museum for different things that occurred in town.”
One piece of history you can see inside is old equipment from Gay Industries Incorporated. It was a weaving company that made rugs during the Depression era.
Gay is the only remaining community in Sherman Township. There is a rummage sale at the township building every other weekend this summer. The township supervisor says it starts June 18th.
Music Fest is scheduled for July 23rd in Gay. The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. There will be bands and plenty of chairs for people in the town’s park near the old schoolhouse.