Since its early days in the mid-1800’s, downtown Rock Hill has blossomed into a thriving commercial area that’s making new history every day. Established in 1852 as a railway stop between Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC, Rock Hill attracted early settlers eager to ship their produce and cotton to big city markets.
Downtown has gone through many changes and development, and is now a revitalized area for dining, unique shopping, and various types of services. Both The Center for the Arts and the Gallery at Gettys are located in downtown Rock Hill. The Center for the Arts, at 121 E. Main Street, features The Dalton Gallery with art exhibits from local, regional, national and international artists. Gallery hours and information on exhibits can be found at www.rockhillarts.org.
Gallery Up is located on the 2nd floor of the Tom S. Gettys Center at 201 E. Main Street. The gallery presents over a half-dozen shows each year and proudly features talented regional students, emerging and established artists and musicians. The gallery has showcased drawings, paintings, photography, ceramics and metal work. See more on the Gallery Up at www.galleryup.com.
Experience a piece of the civil rights movement by having lunch at the Five & Dine. Sit at this historic lunch counter where the Friendship Nine – students from Friendship Junior College — gained national media attention. The Friendship Nine was a group of African American men who chose jail instead of bail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory’s lunch counter in Rock Hill in 1961. A marker on the sidewalk also tells the significance of the site.
Rock Hill’s friendly hospitality offers abundant year-round cultural, recreational, and leisure time opportunities, as well as easy access to regional tourist attractions. The “must-sees” near downtown Rock Hill include Glencairn Garden, the four 13 ft. “Civitas” statues, and the 14 ft. bronze replica of the fictional hero “Mighty Casey” created by Colorado sculptor Mark Lundeen (www.rockhillrocks.com).