It’s amazing how things find a new use. Gay City Road was once the direct route to Gay City – known as Factory Hollow back then – from Glastonbury. Close to 150 years later, it’s still used as a way to Gay City – only now it’s occupied by hikers and bikers as an access point to the network of trails that wind through the state park.
Gay City started as a small, religious village in 1796 before becoming a mill town. Although it thrived at different points of its existence, the mills burned down twice on two separate occasions and it eventually became a ghost town in the 1880’s, according to the Bolton Historical Society.
Despite there no longer being a need for a road to the town, there were still a few farms on the road which kept it open. Eventually, those houses were abandoned and the road was forgotten.
When the road was in use, it sliced off Birch Mountain Road where an empty field now stands before heading down a long hill on its way to the town. The section of the road across the field is gone after years of plowing at planting but it’s still visible through the woods, marked by a yellow gate just in the tree line.
It’s narrow, hardly wide enough for two people to pass each other. It hugs the side of a hill on its way down before leveling off and crossing a stream into Hebron. It travels just over a mile from Birch Mountain Road to the old mill ruins in Gay City.
One foundation still remains in Glastonbury as close to the border as you can get (though there’s actually no marker for where the border should be. It’s just a few steps west from a stream the road goes over). It’s age is unknown but it clearly has been around for a while since the structural integrity is non-existent. It’s literally a hole in the ground with some rocks scattered about. There’s a house foundation nearby in Hebron, so it’s possible the foundation was just a barn for that house back when the border didn’t really matter.
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