Fort Gay, West Virginia

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Fort Gay is a town in Wayne County, West Virginia, along the Tug Fork and Big Sandy Rivers. The town adjoins Louisa, Kentucky. The population was 819 at the 2000 census.

The Fort Gay community traces back to 1789, when 11 people established a settlement at the junction of the Tug and Big Sandy rivers, across from what is now Louisa.[1] In 1875, it was chartered as Cassville; though it was simultaneously known as Fort Gay. In 1932, the town's name was officially changed to Fort Gay. There is no evidence as to why the name was changed, there are several prevalent theories: that either the railroad company or post office did not want two Cassvilles on the same route/state (there is another Cassville, West Virginia), or that a Civil War nurse named Gay became synonymous with the town.[1]

In 2010, Fort Gay was in the news when a resident of the town had his Xbox Live account suspended for writing "fort gay WV" as his location, as Microsoft has language policies that prohibit references to homosexuality. Microsoft customer service representatives refused to believe that Fort Gay existed, and it took an appeal from Mayor David Thompson and media coverage for the issue to be corrected.[1]

Fort Gay is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649.

The Norfolk Southern Railway's Kenova District goes through the western edge of town.


Fort Gay is located at 38°7′3″N 82°35′41″W / 38.1175°N 82.59472°W / 38.1175; -82.59472 (38.117528, -82.594620)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.2 km² (0.9 mi²). 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (7.06%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 819 people, 345 households, and 240 families residing in the town. The population density was 400.3/km² (1,034.5/mi²). There were 394 housing units at an average density of 192.6/km² (497.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.66% White, 0.49% Asian, and 0.85% from two or more races.

There were 345 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.

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