Making room for mammoth changes


Contact: Marie Cheek, Community Relations Coordinator, Culture & Heritage Museums 803.818.6767


Museum of York County’s African Hall to be transformed into “Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring Our Pleistocene Past”

ROCK HILL, S.C. – A new permanent exhibition is in the works at the Museum of York County. “Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring Our Pleistocene Past” is scheduled to open in 2020. The new theme aligns more closely to the museum’s mission of interpreting the natural history of the Carolina Piedmont. The African Hall will close to visitors on Mar. 11, 2019 as renovations for the new exhibition get underway.

After years of planning, research and prototype exhibits “Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring Our Pleistocene Past” will reflect on the Pleistocene Epoch and the prehistory of the Carolina Piedmont. Popularly called the Ice Ages, the Pleistocene Epoch will be represented by the Museum of York County in new dioramas, scenic displays and unique learning experiences designed to connect visitors to the Carolinas of 11,700 to 2.6 million years ago. Visitors will experience the Carolinas’ Ice Age story with dynamic, immersive exhibits, life-like models, scenic dioramas, hands-on fossils, and engaging interactives.

Transforming the African Hall serves an integral role in fulfilling the Museum of York County’s mission “to enhance understanding of our world by collecting and preserving the natural history of the Carolina Piedmont, communicating regional themes and their broader global connections.” The existing hall featuring African wildlife dioramas first opened in the mid- 1970s. The museum’s iconic elephant, along with other taxidermy mounts and models, will be part of the new Ice Age exhibit. Plans for other African animal mounts include display in the museum’s Naturalist Center and future exhibits, as well as supplementing collections at other research and educational institutions.

The Museum of York County is located at 4621 Mt. Gallant Rd. in Rock Hill, S.C. 29732

Hours of Operation: Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun.1 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Mon. closed General Admission: Adults (18-59) $8; Seniors (60+); $7 Youth (4-17) $5; CHM Members & Children 3 and younger Free

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IMAGE: Museum of York County’s iconic elephant will remain as part of the new exhibition. Contact Marie Cheek for high-resolution images. Credit: CHM staff.


About the Museum of York County:

Originally called the Children’s Nature Museum of Rock Hill, the Museum of York County first opened in 1950 as a community effort led by the Junior Welfare League. The Stans African animal collection was acquired in the late 1950s and the larger hall was built and opened in 1965. The Museum of York County’s primary goal is to become the regional hub for nature-based learning experiences and research opportunities. A key strategy towards this goal is to ensure that the museum’s permanent exhibitions, programs and collections fully align with its mission.

The Museum of York County is part of Culture & Heritage Museums, which also includes Main Street Children’s Museum, the McCelvey Center and Historic Brattonsville. Culture & Heritage Museums was awarded American Alliance of Museums’ ultimate mark of distinction with reaccreditation in 2017; accreditation signifies “excellence and credibility to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies and to the museum-going public.”

Stay tuned for behind-the-scene stories from Culture & Heritage Museums as “Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring Our Pleistocene Past” gets underway.