Gaffney, South Carolina
You may recognize this prodigious peach from the first season of House of Cards, when Frank Underwood must handle a political controversy surrounding the provocative water tower. The 135-foot, brightly painted behemoth holds one million gallons of water and is often the butt of jokes (pun intended, as it bears a resemblance to someone’s posterior). The Peachoid’s greater purpose? To proclaim to passersby on Interstate 85 South Carolina’s preeminence among Southern peach-producing states. Head to Gaffney in July for the 41st annual South Carolina Peach Festival—and a gander at the giant peach.
World’s Largest Chest of Drawers
High Point, North Carolina
The “Furniture Capital of the World,” High Point, North Carolina, is fittingly home to not one but two giant chests of drawers. The thirty-eight-foot-tall original cabinet (and title-holder), complete with a couple of super-sized socks representing the city’s hosiery industry, was built in the 1920s and stands in downtown High Point. And while thirty-eight feet is impressive, the town’s newest giant dresser rises more than eighty feet. However, it’s attached to Furnitureland South, the world’s largest furniture store, which means its freestanding predecessor remains top shelf.
Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue
Drive along State Route 45 in southwest Georgia and you’ll encounter a thirteen-foot-tall peanut paying homage to the thirty-ninth president and his early years as a peanut farmer. The giant goober—complete with a grin resembling that of Carter—was made by members of the Indiana Democratic Party for Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign. Today, it stands a few hundred yards from Maranatha Baptist Church, where Carter teaches Sunday school to overflow crowds. Head an hour southeast to Ashburn and discover another noteworthy Georgia nut: the World’s Largest Peanut, which stands twenty feet tall.
Boll Weevil Monument
Visit this tiny town and you’ll find the only monument in the nation dedicated to an agricultural pest. In the early twentieth century, hordes of small beetles known as boll weevils destroyed cotton crops across the South. Most farmers tried to fight the blight, but not the people of Enterprise, who simply decided to stop growing cotton altogether and instead plant peanuts. By 1917, Enterprise was the leading producer of peanuts in the country. A century later, a thirteen-foot statue of a woman holding up a boll weevil nods to the economy-boosting beetle’s impact.
World’s Largest Sweet Tea
Summerville, South Carolina
On June 10, 2016, in observance of National Iced Tea Day, Summerville set the Guinness World Record for the largest sweet iced tea on earth. Aptly named Mason, the colossal cup stands more than fifteen feet tall and holds 2,524 gallons. Brewing the record-breaking refreshment required 210 pounds of tea from nearby Charleston Tea Plantation and 1,700 pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar. If Mason sounds like your cup of tea, swing by the city’s municipal complex on Main Street to check him out, and stop by Town Hall to snag a souvenir “tea-shirt.”
This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Southbound.