In 1872, the area became known as "Gaffney City." Gaffney became the county seat of Cherokee County which was formed out of parts of York, Union, and Spartanburg Counties in 1897. Gaffney became a major center for the textile industry in South Carolina and was the backbone of the county's economy up until the 1980s.
Despite the small of amount of population growth, businesses and companies continue to locate within the city limits, especially along the bustling Floyd Baker Boulevard and Highway 105 and many other areas within the city limits, however, most population growth occurs outside the city limits.
Uptown Gaffney began to languish after I-85 was built in the county as industries located near the new highway. Recent renovations in downtown Gaffney have prompted more businesses to locate there, but there is still a great deal that is planned for the central part of the city. Many plans have been announced for the downtown area, including a large 20-acre park that will be developed on the grounds of a recently demolished mill. A plaza has been completed beside city hall and includes a refurbished fountain and extensive landscaping. Highlights to the upgrade of the city's park system include a skatepark, two passive parks, and several children's playgrounds.
The city has recently hired an architectural frim to renovate the old Gaffney Post Office Downtown into a visitors' center, art galleries, and a community meeting room.
There are also plans for a large cultural center to be placed in the downtown area.
A farmers' market, Gaffney Station Farmers' Market, has been established in a city parking lot directly across from the old post office downtown. The farmers' market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays June through October.
The city recently concluded Spring Session '08 of a popular concert series entitled Shindig at the Gaffney Cabin. Bands perform on a weekly basis - Fridays during the Spring Session (May) and Thursdays during the Fall Session (late August through September). Concerts are held on Thursdays during Fall Sessions so as not to conflict with Gaffney Indian football games on Friday nights.
The area's newest attraction is the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum. Located at the old Central school, it is a true chance to find your roots! Cherokee County's history and its contributions to the arts weave a captivating and inspiring story of the region and its role in shaping the culture of the southeast and the nation. www.cherokeecountyhistory.org
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km²), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it is water.
http://www.1180wfgn.com/ 1180 WFGN-AM Playing Gospel Music for Gaffney and surrounding areas
http://www.bbnradio.org/ WYFG 91.1 FM: Christian Broadcasting (BIBLE BROADCASTING NETWORK)
Spartanburg Herald-Journal: Regional newspaper based in nearby Spartanburg, SC; covers stories in Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union Counties, as well as state and national headlines.
There were 5,304 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 21.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 82.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,480, and the median income for a family was $38,449. Males had a median income of $30,145 versus $22,167 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,755. About 13.3% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 18.0% of those age 65 or over.
The Upstate region is served by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport , also known as GSP International Airport. GSP is South Carolina's busiest airport.
Recent studies have proved that an airport is strongly needed in the county. Cherokee County is the only county in South Carolina without an airport. Requests are now being made to the federal government to support the construction of the new airport. Studies are also determining where the airport, if built, should be built.
Public transit is available through the Gaffney Cab Company for a relatively low fare.
Gaffney is served by the Cherokee County School District, which is one unified school district.
The Gaffney High School football team is also well-known regionally. The program boasts 16 State Championships and alumni such as the Washington Redskins' Rocky McIntosh and University of South Carolina All-American and Minnesota Vikings' Sidney Rice. In the 2005-2006 school year the school was chosen as Palmetto's Finest, the highest honor for high schools in the state. The school has succeeded greatly in increasing test scores across the board and increasing the graduation rate.