The Museum of York County is part of Culture & Heritage Museums and is located at 4621 Mount Gallant Boulevard in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The Museum is open 10:00am-5:00pm Monday-Saturday. On Sunday, the Museum is open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. General admission is free on Sundays. On all other days, admission is $5 for adults (ages 18-59). Admission for seniors (age 60+) is $4, and admission is $3 for ages 4-17. Children 3 years of age and under receive free admission. Group rates are also available, and admission fees are subject to change at any time.
The Museum is home to Settlemyre Planetarium. The planetarium has a domed ceiling and uses a star projector to simulate the night sky. The projector, along with additional video and sound systems, enable visitors to take a virtual tour of the solar system. Planetarium access is free with museum admission. The planetarium's programming changes seasonally. Summer programs and holiday programs are also offered. The planetarium's programs are typically offered on weekends. On Saturday, planetarium programs begin at 11:00am, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm. Sunday programs begin at 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Planetarium program times are subject to change, and visitors should confirm times before making any definite plans.
Some of the Museum's exhibits are temporary, and some of them are permanent. New Perspectives on African People and Places is a permanent exhibit consisting of objects, text, and graphics that emphasize the relationships between Africa's native peoples, Africa's landscape, and Africa's wildlife. Landscapes and Lifeways: The Carolina Piedmont 600 Years Ago and Today is another permanent exhibit. It compares the present-day landscape of the Piedmont area with the landscape of 600 years ago. The Museum also features an exhibit that explains Culture & Heritage Museums' projects, sites, resources, programming, and mission. Another permanent exhibit is the Catawba River Gallery, which is designed to educate visitors on how the river affects everyday life.
Originally called the Children's Nature Museum of Rock Hill, the Museum of York County opened in 1950. The Museum was a joint community effort that was spearheaded by the Junior Welfare League. Museum exhibits have highlighted natural history, cultural history, and art. In 1952, the Museum began an exhibit that featured Catawba Indian pottery. This was the earliest known exhibit of this kind. Late in the 1950s, the Museum obtained the Stans African Animal Collection. The Museum became a repository for the illustration art of Vernon Grant in 1978. The Clifford Collection of African Art was acquired in 1990. Each feature or collection added enabled the Museum to expand its exhibits.
The Museum of York County welcomes groups, but group tours must be planned in advance. Discount admission rates are available to groups of 15 or more. Special programs and guided tours are offered. Reservations for groups requesting special programming need to be made at least one month prior to the visit. Information regarding group visits can be obtained by calling 803-981-9182. All other concerns or inquiries regarding the Museum should be directed to 803-329-2121.
The Museum Store features the works of local artists, recycled items, regional food items, and more. The store offers an assortment of uncommon stuffed animals, such as buffalo. Educational toys are available, and the store offers free gift wrapping.