Listed below is a brief history of the cities of York and Sharon. For further information on Western York County, please visit the Museum of Western York County website.

York History

Sharon History

Welcome to the "White Rose City," whose tree-lined streets, historic homes, and warm, friendly people will make you vividly aware of the rich heritage and charm that is York, South Carolina.


Originally called Fergus Crossroads, the town of Yorkville 
was established as the county seat in 1785

The commercial district developed along the intersection of the stagecoach routes that formed Fergus Crossroads.  Throughout the first half of the 19th century, Yorkville prospered and became a commercial and cultural center for the upcountry.

The Civil War severely disrupted commerce as well as many lives.  But in the 1890's, financial stability returned with the establishment of the first cotton mills.  As the town entered the 20th century, textiles became the dominant economic force, one that would continue to drive the area's economy for decades.



York's distinguished history and rich architectural heritage have been preserved through concerted community effort.  Dedicated individuals and groups, such as the Yorkville Historical Society, help to perpetuate the town's living history.  York has one of the largest historical districts in the United States.




Welcome to Sharon, a close-knit community of 700 residents that lies in the heart of historic Western York County. Established in 1889 when the Chicago, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad built a trunk line across York County, Sharon received its name from the Sharon Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, which was organized nearby in 1792. 


Most of Sharon's commercial district is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The beautifully restored Hill Building was built in 1913 and was the home of Hill Mercantile and Planters Bank. Other distinguished examples of architecture relating to the cotton based economy can be seen throughout the town.



The Rainey House, restyled in 1906 causes the visitor to recall the Old South and serves as Sharon's own Tara. Bearing the name of one of the town's commercial leaders from earlier days, it overlooks the commercial district and the Rainey Cotton Gin, one of the most unusual gin houses in the state.


Pride in the community and its rich history prompted the town of Sharon and the Broad River Basin Historical Society to establish the Museum of Western York County in June of 2003. The Museum has more than 3000 square feet of exhibit space that offers its visitors a relaxed opportunity to recall, reminisce, and wonder about former years.