It was getting increasingly harder to get a car or truck fixed in Gays Mills, at least until now that is. First, New Horizons closed their garage when they combined with Mickelson’s Market and opened the Marketplace. Then, Blackhawk Auto and Truck Repair moved their operation to Viroqua. That left Evans Repair, the smallest of the three shops, as the only one still operating in Gays Mills.
Then, it happened. Joey Boland, the former New Horizon mechanic, bought the building in which he had been working just a year-and-a-half before and opened Boland’s Repair with his wife Hailey.
Boland had spent six-and-a-half years working for New Horizons before the shop closed on June 24, 2011. Joey is the youngest son of local farmers Bill and Floy Boland. He says he found his love for fixing things handing wrenches to his older brother Steve, when he was very young.
“When I was eight years old, I started tearing apart lawn mowers and bicycles and my dad would yell at me because I couldn’t put them back together of course,” Joey recalls. “Steve was my mentor, teacher, brother and best friend.”
Steve Boland moved to New Albin, Iowa almost 20 years ago, where he took a job fixing agricultural machinery.
“Steve’s the reason why I’m here,” Joey says looking around his recently purchased shop. “This dream is something we talked about as kids—having our own shop and fixing anything and everything, never turning anyone away. There’s not too much I can’t fix.”
Boland’s Repair, located on Highway 131 across the road from the cemetery in Gays Mills, is currently open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Joey says he’s ready to fix anything and everything although the focus is on automotive, he also does small engines, garden equipment, ATVs and UTVs. To make an appointment, call 608-485-2975.
Joey is ready for most work already and has purchased a tire machine, hoist, welder and diagnostic computer reader. He has some more equipment in mind.
Joey and Hailey have plans to eventually open a small hardware department in the room at the back of the office area. It will include oil and auto parts of course, but they hope to include more hardware as well.
While Joey repairs vehicles in the shop, Hailey will handle the phone, the orders, the appointments, bookwork and more in the front office.
“Actually, I’m the owner here and he’s working for me,” Hailey says with a big smile, while Joey can only shake his head. The couple acknowledges opening the shop was taking on a lot, but seem confident with their decision.
“It’s definitely a very big step, but it’s an adventure we need to take” Hailey says.
In addition to his work at New Horizons, Joey has experience from working at Peterson Motors in Viroqua, Ken’s Classics in Muscoda and the Kickapoo Dairy Service in Readstown. He has also worked on farms and even worked for a couple of years as a guard at WSPF (the supermax prison in Boscobel). A graduate of Seneca High School, Joey attended Southwest Tech where he graduated as an auto body technician.
Joey Boland is back in his shop and residents of Gays Mills and the surrounding area just got another option to have their vehicle repaired.