Texas Ghost Town
Farm Road 390 (aka La
12 miles NW of Brenham
Population: slightly over 100 (est)
| Gay Hill
is a historic town with strong business and cultural ties to Independence,
Texas. Once known as Chriesman Settlement - the name was changed when the
Republic of Texas established a post office in the town sometime before 1840.
Thomas Gay, a partner in the local store was the namesake of the town.
His brother James Gay had a town named after him - also called Gay Hill - in neighboring
Fayette County near LaGrange.
Residents included Horatio Chriesman, R. E. B. Baylor, and John Sayles.
Glenblythe Plantation - owned by Horticulturist Thomas Affleck was near Gay Hill
and a historic marker on Thomas Affleck is found on FM 390.
Seminary was located in Gay Hill from 1853 to 1888 and a Masonic lodge was established
before the Civil War. In 1860 Gay Hill had a population of about 300.
The town split into "Old" and "New" Gay Hill in 1881 when the Gulf, Colorado and
Santa Fe Railway laid tracks through Washington County. "New" Gay Hill is two
miles west of the original site.
An old sign in Gay
TE Photo, 3-02
older portion of Gay Hill|
TE Photo 3-02
| Gay Hill
had a respectable population of 250 persons in 1936 with ten businesses. Ranching
replaced cotton production and Brenham
siphoned off Gay Hill population. By1958 there were only 200 people and in the
1990s it was an estimated 145. |
The last store in Gay Hill closed in
1971. A one-room school from Gay Hill has been moved to Old Baylor Park in Independence.
Gay Hill of Fayette County
is on State Highway 71 six miles southeast of La
Grange. This community grew around a plantation dating back to the Republic
A third Gay Hill once existed in Milam County seven
miles west of Rockdale but has since disappeared
without a trace.
390 - La Bahia Scenic Highway
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