Yorkville Female Institute/York Graded School (McCelvey Center)

South Carolina State Historical Marker 46-52 York County

This historical marker was sponsored by the Yorkville Historical Society and the Culture & Heritage Museums of York County, 2012.

Photograph courtesy of Karenmarie Marley, August 2017

Side 1

Yorkville Female Institute

Yorkville Female Institute, also called Yorkville Female College, was the first school here, where private schools and then public schools operated 1854—1987. The institute founded in 1852, opened in 1854 and built a three-story brick school. In 1863, during the Civil War, it suspended classes and housed refugees. Yorkville High School, a private boys’ and girls’ school, operated here 1882—1888.

Side 2

York Graded School

Yorkville Graded School, a public school, occupied the old institute 1889—1900. It burned, and a new brick school was built in 1902, with an east wing and theater added in 1922. This became an elementary school after a new high school was built in 1951. In 1973 it was renamed to honor George C. McCelvey (1888—1973), principal 1912—1948. Since the school closed in 1987, McCelvey Center has been used by the community and the Culture & Heritage Museums of York County.