Gaffney Peachoid – Gaffney, South Carolina
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Did you know that even though Georgia is technically the Peach State, South Carolina actually leads our neighbors in peach production along with all other states except for California? The delectable treat became the official state fruit of South Carolina in 1984 and has earned its place at the table, so to speak, producing more than 90,000 tons a year. How ’bout them apples … er, peaches? The Peachoid, Gaffney‘s famous roadside attraction pictured below, depicts South Carolina’s sweetest bumper crop.
The idea of the Peachoid came to Gaffney Board of Public Works member Jack Millwood when it was decided that an elevated water tower was needed for the area. His famous words – “Let’s build it in the shape of a peach!” – are immortalized in the enormous depiction of the pitted fruit that looms over I-85.
Built in 1981 over a period of five months, the iconic water tower features a cleft, a stem, and a seven-ton peach leaf. It holds one million gallons of water and can be seen between exits 90 and 92 of I-85. Made to highlight the region’s prime natural product, the Peachoid’s colors are meant to reflect the varieties of peaches grown in the area. After the basic colors were applied to the tower’s various parts, artist Peter Freudenberg used 50 gallons of paint and more than 20 colors to achieve the desired effect.
UPDATE: The Peachoid has recently had a makeover! Do you have any photos of the new and improved paint job? If so, please send them to us!
Learn more about South Carolina’s state fruit – the peach!
Reflections on Gaffney’s Peachoid
Rod Welch, a lifelong South Carolinian and the founder of SCIWAY, shares these thoughts on the Gaffney Peachoid from 1997: “South Carolina has hundreds of water towers, most of which are rather ordinary. But one – Gaffney’s Peachoid – catches the eye. This ‘peach’ of a water tower is located on I-85 between Spartanburg and the North Carolina border and holds one million gallons. Until recently the Peachoid had some nearby competition: Two large, unused water towers in the center of downtown Spartanburg that were painted brown, green, and blue like the earth, trees, and sky. Both were torn down this past April to make room for a parking lot for the Spartanburg County Public Library’s new main branch. These two circular “skyscapes” looked a little childlike, and they always made me smile when I drove into Spartanburg. I miss seeing them and wish someone had made a Web page for them before they were destroyed.”
Gaffney Peachoid Info
Address: Peachoid Road, near I-85 exit 92, Gaffney, SC 29340
Gaffney Peachoid Map
Gaffney Peachoid Add Info and More Photos
The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Gaffney Peachoid, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!