Culture and Heritage Museums

4621 Mount Gallant Road

The Culture & Heritage Museums is a family of museums in York County, SC, which includes Historic Brattonsville, the McCelvey Center, the Museum of York County and the Main Street Children's Museum in Old Town Rock Hill.


In 1997, the Museum of York County in Rock Hill, SC, and the York County Historical Commission merged to create the York County Culture and Heritage Commission.

Museum of York County

In 1950 the Junior Welfare League opened the Museum of York County as the Children's Nature Museum of Rock Hill. Exhibits and programming have always included not only natural history, but also cultural history, the arts, and content for adults as well as for children. In 1952 the museum held the earliest known exhibit of Catawba Indian pottery, featuring potters active at that time.

Decades of growth

Maurice Stans donated the Stans African animal collection in the late 1950s. A new building opened in 1965 featuring dioramas showcasing the African collection. The museum also maintained programming and exhibits on local history, regional natural history, and the arts. The Settlemyre Planetarium opened in 1977; in 1978, the museum became repository for the Vernon Grant collection of illustration art by the originator of Snap!® Crackle!® Pop!®.

York County Historical Commission

Historic Brattonsville

The York County Historical Commission was created in 1959 to preserve and maintain a former York County plantation then in a dilapidated state. The Brattonsville Historic District was listed on the National Register in 1971 and named Historic Brattonsville. Restoration was sporadically pursued until the 1980s, when work became more focused, and continues today.

McCelvey Center

In 1989, the commission established the Historical Center of York County in York, SC. The Historical Center, located in the McCelvey Center, is the repository for county records and holds extensive collections of documents and photographs related to county history.

The McCelvey Center building has been the home of many institutions dedicated to education. The current facility is comprised of sections constructed in 1903, 1922, and 1956. In 1987 the York School District turned over ownership and operation of the building and one acre of land to McCelvey Center for use as a community and performing arts center. In 2001, following the 1997 merger, the York County Culture and Heritage Commission assumed operation of McCelvey Center.

York County Culture and Heritage Commission

In 2003 a new Culture & Heritage Museums logo and brand was adopted, and in 2004 the Culture and Heritage Commission adopted a revised mission statement.

The Culture & Heritage Museums are managed by the Cultural and Heritage Commission of York County. The Culture and Heritage Foundation supports the CHC and its museums.


To communicate and preserve the natural and cultural histories of the Carolina Piedmont, inspiring a lifetime of learning.

It is our vision to create a community that greatly values natural, historical and cultural heritage.


Michael Heminger

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

Wonderful place in York County, SC. This is a museum which focuses on wildlife, particularly stuffed specimens. For me, the highlight of the tour was the Naturalist Center, which has interactive exhibits as well as very impressive specimens, including: polar bear, giraffe, giant land sloth. Was not able to use the planetarium, but will definitely take advantage of in the future. Also two very nice ares for young children to play.

Sarah Harper

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

My kids have fun here everytime we go. Lots of ways to use their imagination but they also live the animal exhibits as well!

kyle mccammon

Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017

I was surprised how hands on and kid friendly the museum was. They have their own play room just for kids, as well as interesting exhibits for the whole family.

D. Taylor

Friday, Sep. 1, 2017

What a pleasant surprise! The museum looks kind of plain outside. Don't let that keep you from visiting this awesome place. The inside will amaze!

Craig Frazier

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017

Great museum with plenty of hands on fun for kids. Very educational with some interactive play rooms as well!

Photos are copyrighted by their owners
Photos are copyrighted by their owners
Photos are copyrighted by their owners
Photos are copyrighted by their owners