Drive between exits 90 and 92 on Interstate 85 in South Carolina and you cannot miss it on the north side of the highway: a water tower which is 135 feet tall and resembles a peach — but it looks like a baby’s butt with a rash.
Peachoid Water Tower Looks Like a Baby’s Butt With a Rash — But People Love It
Nevertheless, the people of the town of Gaffney love their landmark named Peachoid — as well as the tourists from as far away as Canada, Germany and Japan who go out of their way to stop just to view the tower, which can hold one million gallons of water.
In fact, they were upset when they mistakenly thought that their beloved Peachoid was being dismantled in 2015 — but it was simply being renovated.
Peachoid has graced the landscape along Interstate 85 since construction of it was finished in 1981 after approximately five months. Steel paneling was used for the “cleft” of the peach; and an overlay stem and leaf were added to the water tower to create the illusion of a peach.
If you look closely at the photograph shown above, you can see the pieces of metal which were added to the “crease” of the “peach” on an otherwise standard water tower prior to it being painted with 50 gallons of paint by Peter Freudenberg, who was the original artist.
A peach was chosen to represent Gaffney because even though the official nickname of Georgia is the Peach State, South Carolina actually produces more peaches than Georgia — and the economy of Gaffney was dependent upon the success of its peach orchards. The orchards of Cherokee County — the county in which Gaffney is located — at one time produced more peaches than the entire state of Georgia.
Even as the peach production in South Carolina was devastated by low chill hours, an early bloom, and a late-spring freeze, the state still produced approximately four million more pounds of peaches than Georgia — which experienced similar hardships with its production of peaches — according to the Fruits and Tree Nuts Outlook report, which was released on Friday, September 29, 2017 from the United States Department of Agriculture.
In 1996, land around the water tower was named Millwood Park — named after Jack Millwood, whose idea it was to construct the water tower in the shape of a peach. Millwood was a member of the Gaffney Board of Public Works.
I thought I was the only person who thinks that the Peachoid looks like a baby’s butt with a rash — until I read this article written by Michael Tomsic of National Public Radio. I felt like I was being “mooned” every time I passed it; and I have passed it many times.
The Peachoid is located along the frontage road of Interstate 85 — which is known as Peachoid Road — in the town of Gaffney only approximately 16 miles from the state line shared by South Carolina and North Carolina.
No admission is charged and no facilities are available — although you can probably park your vehicle in the parking lot of an adjacent casual dining restaurant.
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.