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Gaffney Peachoid — Gaffney, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Cherokee County  |  Gaffney Peachoid

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Gaffney Peachoid

Did you know that even though Georgia calls itself the Peach State, South Carolina actually leads our neighbor in peach production? In fact, we lead all other states in the country except 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, with an annual harvest of over 90,000 tons. How ’bout them apples … er, peaches? The Peachoid, Gaffney‘s famous roadside attraction pictured below, depicts South Carolina’s sweetest bumper crop.

Gaffney Peachoid

Kevin Ruck of Greenville, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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 off I-85.

Rodger Painter of Gaffney © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Made to highlight the region’s favorite crop, 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, original artist Peter Freudenberg used 50 gallons of paint and more than 20 colors to achieve the desired effect, seen in the photo immediately above.

Gaffney Peach

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 2015 mural artist Eric Henn of Ohio repainted the towering peach to give it a much-needed makeover, particularly now that the icon is prominently featured on the Netflix series, House of Cards. The results can be seen in the photo above.

Gaffney Peachoid in the Snow

Brady Brandwood of Lake Wylie, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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 and the SC Picture Project, 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
GPS Coordinates: 35.095343,-81.685852
Website: http://gbpw.com/peachoid-information

Gaffney Peachoid Map

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4 Comments about Gaffney Peachoid

Kathy Wingate says:
June 9th, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Have never seen this one, but love it! Going to the farmers market this week to check out the peach supply. Does anyone know why we can’t find Red Haven peaches any more? They are the sweetest, and my absolute favorite.

Agatha Hall says:
November 8th, 2018 at 6:49 am

Was looking for where I could find some me some peaches now, Nov. Got to this info about our state fruit & really learn a lot. What a beautiful southern peach & now I am really ready to eat … some juicy peaches … can hardly wait!

Douglas J Haber says:
November 7th, 2015 at 11:58 pm

I knew Peter Freudenberg, he was my Grandmother's neighbor's son.

Jospehine Hamilton says:
March 30th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I bet this is the prettiest water tower in the whole country! I love it!

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