The Peachoid is a water tower located right on I-85 in Gaffney, South Carolina that has been cleverly disguised as a peach. It holds one million gallons of water and serves the north and northwest Gaffney for its water pressure needs.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PEACHOID

It began late one night when the staff of the Gaffney Board of Public Works was working way too late. A water study had pointed out that the town needed a new elevated water storage tank and the staff was wondering over ways to get Uncle Sam to pay for it. In a half-jesting moment, Dick Crater, who at the time was Board Manager, said the immortal words that inspired a town, "Let's build it in the shape of a Peach!!" Slowly the idea grew and captured the imagination of the Board members and denziens of the town. Soon, the project started coming together. Funds were acquired from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments. Bids for construction were floated and the lucky winner was the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company.

It took five months to design and mold the steel for the project. A foundation containing 10 million pounds of concrete had to be poured. One and one half miles of welds had to be made, requiring that welding rods had to be delivered to the site by the ton. A stem 12 feet long and 18 inches in diameter was added to the top. A huge leaf, 60 feet long, 16 feet wide, and weighing 7 tons was applied to one side. A huge cleft along the entire height of the "peach" was created through false work steel paneling applied to the sphere of the tank. A nipple was added to the bottom of the tank to complete the maddness.

Peter Freudenburg, an artist specializing in super-graphics, murals, and wildly outrageous public works projects was hired to paint the tank in colors matching the types of peaches grown in the area after workers from CB&I painted the base coat. Fifty gallons of paint, combined to make more than 20 colors, were used in the final project. The Peachoid was at last, complete.

The land surrounding the Peachoid has recently been made into a park dedicated to long time BPW member Jack Millwood.

THAT OTHER PEACH?

While one might think that only one community would choose to grace an interstate highway with a water tower that is shaped like a fruit, you're wrong. After the Peachoid was built, the city fathers of Clanton, Alabama decided that their town would not be complete without a peach-shaped water tower of their very own. The Clanton tower is located along 1-65 around 50 miles south of Birmingham. It is half the size, holding 500,000 of water.

 

 

Other References to the Peachoid on the Internet

 The Gaffney Ledger

Roadside America

Wordgun.com

WRAL-TV's Movie Reviews

 

For more information please contact Tim Morgan - Last Modified on 13 February 1999