The City of Gaffney [†] is the county seat of Cherokee County, which is located in the upper Piedmont section of the state and characterized by gently rolling hills and level farmland. Agriculture has always been significant in the local economy and the county contains extensive farmlands including many peach orchards.
Gaffney is the largest town in Cherokee County and is the commercial and industrial center of the county. It is also the home of Limestone College, a private co-educational institution associated with the Baptist Church.
Although settlement of the area that is included in the present-day city of Gaffney began in the early nineteenth century, few intact above‑ground resources remain from that period. The town of Gaffney was laid out in the late nineteenth, century and substantial development occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most of the historic resources remaining in Gaffney are commercial, residential, industrial, and educational buildings reflecting this period in the city's history.
The Gaffney family subdivided their land along the right-of-way in 1873, and a plan by Tillman R. Gaines, drawn from the layout of Philadelphia, set out streets, alleys, and separate lots for a town that was called "Gaffney City." Buford Street was made ninety feet wide and was intended to be the main street of the community. Merchants, however, preferred to be closer to the train station, and as a result:, Limestone Street became the town's main commercial center.
The town was incorporated on March 3, 1875, and by 1880 Gaffney boasted a population of 400 and began to draw outside investors to the area, who established businesses and built residences, churches, and schools in the rapidly growing town.11 Residential areas grew along the railroad and toward Limestone Springs to the south, causing the city to expand its l.i.rni.ts to a one-mile radius in 1890. This included most of the village of Limestone Springs.
† Adapted from: Philip Thomason and James Draeger, Thomason and Associates, Gaffney Multiple Resource Area, nomination documnet, 1985, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C., accessed August, 2021.