Possum Trot School — Gaffney, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Cherokee County | 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.
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.
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