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Hidden Gems Are Fun to Find in Gaffney

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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The headstone of Francis Underwood, the fictional U.S. president in the “House of Cards” Netflix series, can be found in Gaffney’s Oakland Cemetery.

If you think the giant Peachoid is Gaffney’s only unusual attraction, you’ll be surprised to find this small Upstate town has plenty of other must-see gems.

Topping the list of nowhere-else-but-Gaffney eccentricities is the gravesite of fictional hometown villain Francis J. Underwood, the much-loathed 46th U.S. president in the Netflix series “House of Cards.” The headstone was erected in the city’s Oakland Cemetery as a publicity stunt in the final season of the show.

Underwood’s headstone lies next to his father’s final resting place. Fans of the series will remember the indelicate display of disrespect the president showed to his father when he visited Calvin T. Underwood’s gravesite shortly after he was sworn in. You’ll find the two monuments in the shade of a tree on the perimeter of the cemetery.

Another gravesite not to miss is the real-life burial ground of three unknown British soldiers killed in the Battle of Cowpens. The mortally wounded men were taken from the battlefield to the healing waters of Limestone Springs where they bled to death. They were buried on the grounds of what is now Limestone University. A marker at the springs honors the memory of the soldiers who lost their lives more than 200 years ago in one of the most decisive battles of the American Revolutionary War’s Southern Campaign.

The bell that once rang in the original 1800s city hall now hangs in the clock tower of the new Gaffney City Hall.

History buffs also will be interested in visiting the new Gaffney City Hall with its standout clock tower. The cast bronze bell in the tower was salvaged from Gaffney’s first town hall constructed in the late 1800s.

If you’re in town during the week, your itinerary should include a factory tour of Daimler’s 200,000-square-foot Freightliner Custom Chassis plant. This fascinating tour of the assembly line is offered at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. During the free 45-minute guided tour, you’ll see engines and frames come together to create the completed chassis of school buses, RVs and walk-in-vans.

For fast-paced, action-packed fun, catch short track racing at Cherokee Speedway presented Saturday nights from February to November. The 3/8 mile, high-banked clay oval track also hosts several touring divisions each year.

In the summer, you can pick up fresh peaches at one of the many family-owned farms in Gaffney.

And you can’t leave town in the summer without picking up a basket of peaches at one of Gaffney’s family-owned farms. Lemmons Peach Farm has been selling peaches for more than 50 years. Open June through September, the fruit stand also offers an assortment of other goodies, including jelly, jam and honey. Strawberry Hill Cooley Farms also has a roadside market in Gaffney where you can pick up strawberries in the spring, peaches and blackberries in the summer, and pumpkins in the fall. 

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.