Information on:

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.


Adam Quilty

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018
This is our new favorite museum and definitely worth the drive from Charlotte. We watched the planetarium show and looked through the dioramas and interactive educational exhibits with our boys (ages 6 and 8) and practically had the place to ourselves on a weekday afternoon. Their favorite part was the extensive collection of natural artifacts like bird eggs and bones, animal jaws and furs, and rock and mineral samples. The staff was wonderful. Seriously the best we've encountered anywhere. They were knowledgeable and helpful, and spoke well with the kids, engaging with them in a way strangers almost never accomplish.

Brandy Smiles

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
Always visited once a year when I was growing up, it's a great place to go with your family for a day trip. My absolute favorite is the planetarium! Makes learning fun.

annette bonavia-tonks

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
Very cool if you like to learn about animals and their natural habitats. Our 5 year old loves it here and there is a cute play area for younger children.

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.

Victoria Rafa

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018
An amazing collection of African animals and a good hand on natural history exhibit. Friendly staff and a nice gift shop. Add a nice art exhibit and planetarium.

Culture and Heritage Museums is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media