Helen and I spent a couple of days in Gaffney, South Carolina. Gaffney is a town in “upstate” South Carolina. That part of the state is in the northwest corner, and only an hour or so from the Smokey Mountains. The rolling hills with their small towns are a refreshing change from the hot and flat lands of Florida.
People who have driven through South Carolina on Interstate 85, remember Gaffney by its landmark peach water tower. The Gaffney area is known for its peaches. We bought some Gaffney peaches from a roadside stand, and they were delicious. Most small towns in the south have water towers. Many of those towers have the town’s name printed on them. Gaffney, on the other hand, decided on a water-tower design that would make it distinctive and memorable. They certainly accomplished that goal. The giant peach is visible for miles. The photo of that peach at the top of this post was taken from the other side of I-85. The water tower just happens to be next to the Fatz Cafe, and is not connected to that restaurant.
The peach water tower in the distance can be a strange sight. I can only imagine what it has been mistaken for by strangers. As we traveled around the Gaffney area, we kept getting different views of the peach.
As inscribed on the plate at its base, the Gaffney water tower was selected “Steel Tank of the Year” for 1981, by Steel Plate Fabricators Association. You’ll note that the award calls the Gaffney tank “Peachoid.” What an appropriate name. It struck me very funny that the tank sits on Peachoid Road. Not far from it, you’ll find the Peachview Office Park on Peachview Drive. Peachoid even has its own website. You can visit by clicking If you’re ever driving along I-85 in South Carolina, be sure to stop in Gaffney for the world’s best peaches. If you have time, you can even sit in Peachoid Park in the shade of the Peachoid while you eat a Gaffney peach.
One thing is certain, you can’t drive through this area without thinking about peaches.
Written by Allen W. Forrest, July 04, 2006
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