South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Possum Trot School — Gaffney, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Cherokee County  |  Possum Trot School

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Possum Trot School

The Possum Trot School is located in the small upstate town of Gaffney. It was built in 1880 and is one of the few remaining one-room schools in South Carolina.

Possum Trot

Michael Mascari of Blythewood, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The school was originally located on farmland in the Midway Community just outside Gaffney. It was constructed by brothers Jimmy and Tom Pettit (with the help from other Cherokee County residents) and went through 11th grade. The name “Possum Trot” most likely comes from the fact that students reached the school by following an already existing possum trail through the nearby woods.

Possum Trot School

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

With the construction of newer, larger schools, Possum Trot School was abandoned and eventually fell into disrepair. In 1969, Louise Phifer Camp hired local builder Ernest Wyatt to restore the schoolhouse as a gift for her husband Bill Camp, a Gaffney native who attended the school with his siblings. Although the school had greatly deteriorated over the years, its foundation was still intact, which made it possible for Wyatt to restore the building to its original measurements.

Due to a property transfer in 1992, the school had to be moved to its current location next to Hamrick’s department store on Peachoid Road. It now sits just a half-mile from the famous Gaffney Peachoid.

Special thanks to the Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society for sharing the history of the schoolhouse.

Possum Trot School Info

Address: Peachoid Road, I-85 at Exit 90, Gaffney, SC 29340
GPS Coordinates: 35.085162,-81.703539

Possum Trot School Map

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7 Comments about Possum Trot School

SC Picture Project says:
January 20th, 2019 at 7:56 pm

We have never seen this photo but would love to! We will search online and will let you know if we come across anything. If you happen to find it before we do, could you let us know either here or via email at Thank you!

Curtis Grier says:
January 20th, 2019 at 4:59 pm

As a child back in the 60s I believe, myself and a group of other African-American children had a picture taken in front of the school with the wife of the POTUS at that time. I’m trying to find a copy of that picture, can you assist?

William Myers says:
October 22nd, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Do they ever open the school to the public? We noticed it is furnished.

SCIWAY says:
February 1st, 2016 at 9:39 am

Ask the Cherokee Preservation Society if you can photograph the inside. The group’s website is linked in the page above. Good luck!

Pherson Weathermon says:
January 31st, 2016 at 4:52 am

Is there a way I could take photos on the inside of the school?

Sara says:
May 21st, 2013 at 10:51 am

I would like to see pictures of the inside and know some of what they learn. Do they learn the same things as I do?

Gloria Hawkins says:
May 11th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I would like to learn Possum Trots history and to photograph it. Is that possible?


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