Our upcoming events are listed on our home page. See the information below about many of our past events.
2019 Yorkville Historical Society Meetings:
- January 31, 2019 Our banquet
- February 28, 2019 We were delighted to have the Honorable Bridget M. Wright as our scheduled speaker on the more than 100 year history of Wright Funeral Home. Isaac “Bub” Wright Jr. was a master craftsman who began making caskets in the early 1900s. In 1914 he began Wright Funeral Home. A two-story building served as a funeral parlor and chapel, with an embalming room operated at the rear of the building. The second floor served as a casket making shop. Isaac Wright died in 1918, but his widow, Fannie C. Wright, continued to operate the business. Wright Funeral Home was among the earliest black-owned businesses in York and remains family-owned after 100 years. It played an important role serving the African American community during the era of racial segregation. The Wright family also operated a grocery store, which was replaced by a modern brick funeral home in 1985. In 1998, the original funeral home building was repurposed as the Alice Wright Smith Historical Museum. More information is available here: http://www.wrightfuneralhomesc.com/about/about.php and https://yorkvillehs.com/v2/projects-2/historical-markers/historical-marker-wright-funeral-home/
- March 21, 2019 We were delighted that Sara Johnson, Preservation/Restoration Specialist at Historic Brattonsville, Culture & Heritage Museums, spoke to our group about upcoming enhancements plans for the McCelvey Center.
- April 25, 2019 We were delighted to have Cassidy N. Bryant, MPH, President & Founder Wonder Station Mobile Children’s Museum as our speaker. Her presentation was about her project to establish a Wonder Station Children’s Museum to serve York, SC and surrounding areas. The museum will provide a diverse, creative center for hands-on learning through permanent and revolving exhibits and programs that are meant to inspire creative thinking and imagination in children. Cassidy graduated from University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a BS in Health Promotion and from Purdue University Global obtaining a Master of Public Health.
- May 30, 2019 We were delighted to have Sandi Ludwa as our speaker. She is originally from Chicago, and considers herself a Yankee who embraces the South. Sandi earned a B.S. in Business and Labor Relations from the State University of New York and later returned to college to earn a M.A. in History from Winthrop University. Our America: Discovery Through Our Civil War, is her second publication. The first, Ashes to Incense: Emancipation from Jim Crow, is of a local nature dealing with the Rock Hill and surrounding community.
- June 27, 2019 This meeting was an ice cream social. The theme was patriotic and military since it is between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Members and guests were encouraged to wear patriotic clothing and to bring photos and memorabilia of when they were in the military. Zack Lemhouse played patriotic music. Mayor Eddie Lee made a presentation about what is happening in York.
- July 25, 2019 Donna Wylie made presentation about her book, Dark Corner of War, a biography of Charles Sumpter Wylie. Donna Wylie, the niece of Charles Sumpter Wylie, honors her uncle’s legacy with this in-depth biography of his childhood, adolescence, and participation in World War II. She combines historical research, government correspondence, and documents along with family stories and interviews with relatives. The heart of the book is Sumpter’s letters that he wrote home while overseas in the Pacific Theater. Also included within the biography are the return letters written by his sister, Martha, and mother, Cora.
- August 29, 2019 Carey Tilley, executive director of the Culture and Heritage Museums made a presentation about Historic Brattonsville projects and the history of the Brick House, which will is under restoration.
- September 26, 2019 Nancy Sambets, the Director of Archives at the Historical Center of York County under the Culture & Heritage Museums presented “The Scotch-Irish Influence on Country Music”, a paper by the late Michael C. Scoggins, Historian with the Culture & Heritage Museums.
- October 24, 2019 We were delighted that writer and photographer Bill Fitzpatrick, author of South Carolina’s Sacred Places: What They Are, Where They Are and How to Get There: The Ultimate Mobile Travel Guide to Over 600 Historic Churches, was our speaker.
- November 21, 2019 We were delighted that Seth Duncan, the York City Manager spoke to our group about what he has seen so far and what he sees for the future of York, SC.
- December, 2019 No Meeting – Our wonderful Tour of Homes and Sites instead.
2019 Special Events:
- Yorkville Historical Society Free Guided and Self-Guided Tours March 29, 2019 as part of the Humanities Festival The Yorkville Historical Society offered both guided and self-guided tours of the York Historic District. Use this link for a helpful map.
- Hampton-Preston Mansion Field Trip Wednesday, May 1, 2019 8:30 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m. This was another great field trip that included a guided tour of the mansion, a box lunch and optional tour of the gardens.
- Stories of the Stones, the Historic Rose Hill Cemetery Tour, Saturday, November 2, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rose Hill Cemetery at the corner of East Liberty Street and Cemetery Street in York, SC. Tickets were available during the tour at only $5 per person, with children 12 and under Free. These fascinating guided tours lasted about one hour.During the tour, visitors found out the answers to:
- Which Yorkville merchant lost his 5 year old daughter to a terrible accident?
- Who built the York Building and the Rose Hotel?
- What York lady became the State Regent of the DAR
- Holiday Tour of Homes and Sites in the historic district of York, SC Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. both days. We had 5 historic homes, a business and a church on this year’s wonderful tour.
2018 Special Events
- Wright Funeral Home Historical Marker Dedication – August 3, 2018The dedication for this historical marker was at 6 Hunter Street, York, SC 29745. The Yorkville Historical Society worked in cooperation with Bridget Wright White in the application and approval process with The South Carolina Department of Archives and History in obtaining a South Carolina State Historical Marker for Wright Funeral Home. The Historical Society is pleased to fund this project. The marker’s location is at 6 Hunter Street, York, SC 29745. This marker was installed at no charge by Diversified Signs & Graphics of York, SC.
- Holiday Tour Homeowners Meeting – October 30 at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd at 108 East Liberty Street, York, SC 29745
- Christmas in Olde York Holiday Tour of Homes and Sites – December 8th, 2018
2018 Yorkville Historical Society Meetings:
- January 25, 2018 – Yorkville Historical Society Banquet – This was another wonderful banquet.
- February 22, 2018 We were very fortunate to have Dr. Brooke Bauer as the scheduled speaker for our meeting. Dr. Brooke Bauer is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Her project, “Being Catawba: The World of Sally New River, 1746-1840,” examined the history of the Catawba Indian Nation by concentrating on how Catawba women of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries created, promoted, and preserved a Catawba identity through kinship, land ownership, and economic productivity.
- March 29, 2018 Jason Broadwater gave an update on the strategic plan being developed by the Economic Development Corporation for York, SC.
- April 26, 2018 We were very fortunate to have a genealogy presentation and question and answer session from John Skardon from the Rock Hill Library that included information about the fabulous resources for genealogy research are available from York County Libraries and great tips on genealogy research.
- May 31, 2018 We were delighted to have Mary Poole as our speaker. Mary has been working in the field of intellectual disabilities longer than she would care to mention. Starting as a volunteer in her youth, Mary started her professional career as a third shift weekend direct care staff at the Fountain Inn Community Residence in the upstate of South Carolina. Mary has been a Case Management Director, a Residential Director and a Day Program Director at various agencies in South Carolina. Mary is the current Executive Director of MaxAbilities of York County. She has a BS in Sociology and a MA in Business Management. However, she will tell you that her biggest accomplishment is her family. She has been married to Richard for 40 years and is the very proud mom of ten including five adopted children and 3 grandchildren.
- June 28, 2018 We were fortunate to have historian Michael C. Scoggins as our speaker. His presentation was on the industrialization of York County and will included information about the textile industry, as well as the iron industry, railroads, etc.
- July 26, 2018 This meeting was our first Ice Cream Social. Janice Ramsey presented very interesting information about the history of the Yorkville Historical Society.
- August 30, 2018 We were fortunate to have Velma E. Love, PhD as our speaker. Her topic was “The Power of Story.” Debbie Lancaster, Yorkville Literary Festival Chair, joined Velma and made an announcement about the upcoming festival.Velma Love is a Story Practitioner and Scholar Activist who consults on the art of cultural development and community engagement. She uses stories to inspire and guide social change. She has over 30 years of experience in community cultural work, participatory action research, and non-profit management. Velma received the BA in Sociology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the Master’s of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and the PhD in Religious Studies from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. She has taught religious studies courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.She is the author of Divining the Self: a Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness (Penn State University Press, 2012). A Narrative Coach, she is the owner of Story Catalysts Coaching & Consulting, LLC. She currently resides in York, SC where she produces Kaleidoscope, a Community Storytelling Series that builds community and speaks to the human spirit. Dr. Love is also the Co-founder of Folkways Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that uses the arts to inspire positive change and self-empowerment in low wealth communities.
- September 27, 2018 We were fortunate to have Nancy Sambets as our speaker. She will gave a fascinating presentation about the Circus Days in York. We found out why the Barnett Brothers Circus made York its winter quarters and how the Bennett Brothers Circus got started. Nancy Sambets received her BA in History from the College of Charleston and her Masters Degree in Museum Studies from the University of South Carolina. She has worked at the Berkeley Museum, Old Santee Canal State Park and Andrew Jackson State Park. She is currently the Director of Archives at the Historical Center of York County under the Culture & Heritage Museums. She wrote a monthly column in YC Magazine from 2004 to 2017 and in 2007 coauthored the book “Images of America: York”. She has also provided research and documentation for the South Carolina State Historical Markers on the Yorkville Female College, the Barnett Brothers circus, and the York County Courthouse.
- October 25, 2018 We were delighted to have John Lafoy as our scheduled speaker. A nationally known and well respected golf course architect, John Lafoy is also an expert on Edgefield pottery. Raised by antique dealers, John was exposed to a wide range of objects and has enthusiastically expanded his knowledge to include musical instruments, art work, coins, knives, and furniture. Happy 40th Birthday to the Yorkville Historical Society! We had cupcakes after the meeting to celebrate.
- November 29, 2018 We were delighted to have Lieutenant Dale Edwards of the York, SC Police Department’s Training/Community Services Unit as our speaker. His program was on shopping safety and was very appropriate for the holiday season.
2017 Yorkville Historical Society Meetings:
- March 30, 2017 Our speaker was Lieutenant Dale Edwards, Community Services Officer for the city of York Police Department.
- April 27, 2017 –The wonderful presentation by Zach Lemhouse and two other excellent musicians, Nash Lyle on fiddle and mandolin and Frank Tice on guitar, was based on Scot Irish folk music history and impact, and was a combination of singing and narratives.
- May 25, 2017 We were very fortunate to have Brent Holcomb, well-know genealogist, as our speaker. His topic was be research and resources.
- June 29, 2017 Mary Catherine Ward, Executive Director of the Greater York Chamber of Commerce was our speaker. She talked about the activities and plans for the chamber of commerce and how they can help other groups.
- July 27, 2017 Dan Huntley was our speaker. Dan’s topic was the history and impact of the textile era and his focus will be on the mills in the York area. Dan is a long time resident of York and was a columnist for The Charlotte Observer for a number of years.
- August 31, 2017 Paul Boger was our speaker. Paul is the President of the Museum Council of the Museum of Western York County.
- September 28 ,2017 Michael Bedenbaugh was our speaker. He is the Executive Director of Preservation South Carolina. For more information on Preservation South Carolina see their website.
- October 26, 2017 Melinda Woodhurst We were very fortunate to have Melinda Woodhurst, York County Veterans Affairs Director as our scheduled speaker. Melinda Woodhurst, a native of Lancaster, SC, retired as a Colonel after twenty-six years of military service as a Logistician in the United States Army. She talked about experiences from her career in the military and how you can accomplish goals if you want something badly enough. She was driven to serve of her county from an early age. She wanted it enough to overcome the resistance to women being in the military, social issues at that time (aversion of women in the work force) and many other barriers along the way. She was 13 during Vietnam – but seeing it on TV every day inspired her at age 14 years old to choose the military as her way to serve her country.
- November 30, 2017 Brooke Bauer was scheduled to speak on Catawba Women in a World of Transformation 1746-1840, but was unable to attend. Mayor Eddie Lee made a presentation and answered questions about current events in York, SC.
- December 6, 2018 – Christmas Parade with Yorkville Historical Society Float in downtown York, SC The Yorkville Historical Society had a float in the parade with characters in period clothing.
- December 9 & 10, 2018 Holiday Tour of Homes and Sites – This was another wonderful tour.
Previous Field Trips:
- May 9, 2017 – Yorkville Historical Society Field Trip – Historic Sharon, SC We had a wonderful field trip to visit historic Sharon, SC. We visited the beautiful Hill Store, had lunch at the Sharon Grill, visited the Museum of Western York County, and as an option, toured the Woodlawn Cemetery. We met at the McCelvey Center, 212 East Jefferson Street, in York, SC at 9:30.
- October 25, 2017 – Rose Hill Plantation Field Trip We had a great a field trip to Rose Hill Plantation located at 2677 Sardis Rd, Union, SC. The tour included the beautiful plantation house and a kitchen presentation. After visiting Rose Hill Plantation we had a great lunch a Dawkins Restaurant in Union, SC.
- May 22, 2018 – Walnut Grove Plantation Field Trip This was a great field trip to Walnut Grove Plantation, 1200 Otts Shoals Road, Roebuck, SC (near Spartanburg). There was a guided tour of the plantation, lunch delivered from Bubba’s Barbeque, and a presentation about the folk tales of the times.
Previous Stories of the Stones Cemetery Tours:
- Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Stories of the Stones Rose Hill Cemetery Tour – What York doctor has sea shells scattered on his grave and what do they mean? (John May – This is a Gullah tradition for those born near the water) What York resident was known as the “Marryin’ Judge” who married over 60,000 couples? (E. Gettys Nunn) What retired York dentist, his daughter, and a friend saw a lady in a dark dress coming up his front walkway then completely vanish from sight? (A. Y. Cartwright Sr.) Volunteers told the stories of York Citizens who shaped our community. The tour took place at the gravesite, their final resting place. The tour was at Rose Hill Cemetery, 229 East Liberty Street, York, SC, 29745 on Saturday, November 4th, 2017. Tickets were $5.00, with free admission for children and students grades K–12. See our flyer for more information.
Previous Christmas Tours:
Christmas in Old York 2015 Locations:
- 6 College Street
- 110 East Liberty Street
- 202 East Liberty Street
- 105 East Liberty Street
- 112 East Liberty Street
- 108 East Liberty Street Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard
- Leake Furniture Makers