city, seat of Cherokee county, northern South Carolina, U.S., near the Broad River. Named for Michael Gaffney, an Irish settler who arrived in 1803, it early developed as a resort where plantation owners sought therapeutic treatment at local limestone springs. Its growth as a market centre for cotton (now peaches) and farm produce was sustained by the coming of the Southern Railway in the 1870s. Limestone College was founded there in 1845. Industrial activities include textile milling, metal working, and food processing. The Revolutionary War battlefields of Kings Mountain (commemorated by a national military park) and Cowpens (a national battlefield) are nearby. A peach festival is held in July. Inc. 1875. Pop. (1990) 13,145; (2000) 12,968.
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