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Rock Hill is the largest city in York Countymarker of South Carolinamarker, and the fourth largest city in the state. The 2008 population estimate was 67,339 residents. Rock Hill is located at , approximately 25 miles south of Charlotte, North Carolinamarker and approximately 70 miles north of Columbia, South Carolinamarker. Interstate 77 runs through Rock Hill, which can be accessed via exits 73-82.

Geography and Climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.1 square miles (80.4 km²), of which, 31.0 square miles (80.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.10%) is water.

Rock Hill has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation does not vary greatly between seasons. July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature of 90 °F and an average low temperature of 70 °F. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is 52 °F (11 °C) and the average low temperature is 32 °F (0 °C). The warmest temperature ever recorded in the city is 109 °F (42 °C), 2008, and the coldest temperature ever recorded in the city is -4 °F (-20 °C), on January 21, 1983.


As of the census of 2000, there were 49,765 people, 18,750 households, and 12,093 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,603.8 people per square mile (619.2/km²). There were 20,287 housing units at an average density of 653.8/sq mi (252.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.74% White, 37.33% African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.48% of the population.

City Hall
There were 18,750 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,336, and the median income for a family was $45,697. Males had a median income of $32,156 versus $24,181 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,929. About 9.7% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

Higher Education

Rock Hill is home to three institutes of higher education.

  • Winthrop Universitymarker was founded in 1886 as the Winthrop Training School in Columbia, South Carolinamarker. It was initially an all-female school for those who desired to become teachers. The institution diversified its class ranks by extending its educational offerings to minorities in 1964 and to men in 1972. It attained university status in 1992. Winthrop has changed considerably since moving to its permanent Rock Hill home in 1895, growing from a single classroom to a comprehensive learning university of distinction. The university is home to over 6,000 students and was recently named one of the Top Ten Regional Public Universities in the South in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 2006 edition. The Princeton Review has also rated Winthrop among its “Best Southeastern Colleges” in the review's 2006 edition. Winthrop is the host of the annual United States Disc Golf Championship.
  • York Technical College opened in 1964 as a Technical Education Center and began with 60 students enrolled in seven programs all housed in one building. The college has grown in the past four decades from the initial enrollment to over 4,000 credit students in more than 70 credit programs. The college campus has also grown from one building to 14. In 1974, York County Technical Education Center became York Technical College. In addition to offering academic programs, the College provides continuing education for approximately 7,000 area residents and more than 250 businesses.
  • Clinton Junior College is an institution of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, founded in 1894 as the Clinton Institute. It initially served as a boarding high school, providing high quality education to hundreds of newly freed blacks. In the early years of the 20th century, the school became known as Clinton Normal and Industrial Institute, and was authorized to grant state teacher certificates. The college presently serves as a liberal arts junior college whose major goal is to prepare students to successfully complete a college major at a four-year institution. In 2000, Clinton Junior College is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).

Lore and history

  • The city was named for a flint hill of rock that was in the way of the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad Company, which was building a rail line from Charlotte to Columbiamarker. Much of this rock was removed to make way for the railroad, which built a depot at the site that eventually became known as Rock Hill.
  • Rock Hill dates its history to April 17, 1852, the day the Rock Hill Post Office opened, even though the town was not officially incorporated until 1870. Thus, Rock Hill celebrated its centennial in 1952 and its sesquicentennial in 2002.
  • City limits signs proclaim that Rock Hill is a city with "no room for racism."
  • The symbols of the city are the four "Civitas" statues on Dave Lyle Boulevard. Each of them hold discs that symbolize the four different industries in the city. The four Civitas statues located at the GateWay Plaza on Dave Lyle Boulevard were put up in April 1991. The twenty foot tall bronze statues were created by NY artist Audrey Flack. A fifth Civitas statue was placed in the City Hall Rotunda a year later.
  • Rock Hill was home to the late Vernon Grant, a commercial artist best known as the creator of Snap, Crackle and Pop, the longtime cartoon mascots of Rice Krispies cereal. Grant also was known for his many depictions of Santa Claus. He created Glen the Frog, the mascot of Rock Hill's annual spring festival, Come See Me. His artwork is also celebrated during the annual ChristmasVille holiday festival.
  • Rock Hill's Saint Anne School was the first integrated school in South Carolina. At the time of its desegreation, the school made national news. Soon the school will be receiving a plaque in front of their new location.
  • Rock Hill was the setting for two significant events in the American civil rights movement. In February 1961, nine African-American men went to jail at the York County prison farm after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory's lunch counter. The event gained nationwide attention because the men followed an untried strategy called "jail, no bail," which lessened the huge financial burden civil rights groups were facing as the sit-in movement spread across the South. This event received widespread national news coverage, and the tactic was adopted by other civil rights groups. They became known as the Friendship Nine because eight of the nine men were students at Rock Hill's Friendship Junior College.
  • Later that year, Rock Hill was the first stop in the Deep South for a group of 13 Freedom Riders who boarded buses in Washington, D.C., and headed South to test the 1960 ruling by the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker outlawing racial segregation in all interstate public facilities. When civil rights leader John Lewis and another man stepped off the bus, they were beaten by a white mob. In 2002, Lewis, by then a U.S. congressman from Georgiamarker, made a triumphant return to Rock Hill, where he spoke at Winthrop University and was given the key to the city. On January 21, 2008, Rep. Lewis returned to Rock Hill again and spoke at the city's Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday observance, where Mayor Doug Echols officially apologized to him on the city's behalf for the Freedom Riders' treatment there.
  • Rock Hill is mentioned in "Promised Land", a 1964 song by legendary rock and roller Chuck Berry. The "poor boy" in the song is on a Greyhound that "bypassed Rock Hill," perhaps a sly reference to the attack on the Freedom Riders' bus three years earlier.
  • Production of Mel Gibson's 2000 movie The Patriot was headquartered in Rock Hill.
  • Parts of the 20th Century Fox Movie Asylum were filmed at Winthrop Universitymarker.
  • The NCAA South Atlantic Conference is headquartered in Rock Hill. SAC Commissioner Doug Echols is also the current Mayor of Rock Hill.


Rock Hill has many major roads including U.S. Highway 21, South Carolina Highway 72, South Carolina Highway 901, South Carolina Highway 121, South Carolina Highway 5, and Interstate 77. There are also numerous minor roads within the city limits. Rock Hill has one municipal Airport Rock Hill Municipal Airportmarker (sometimes known as Bryant Field) and a small private airport called Country Squire that is now within the city limits.


Compulsory education

Rock Hill is served by Rock Hill District Three Public Schools, which has twenty-seven total schools, including seventeen elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. The public high schools in Rock Hill are Rock Hill High School, Northwestern, and South Pointe.The district has a student enrollment of almost 18,000. A variety of religious schools also serve the city of Rock Hill, including St. Anne's Catholic, Trinity Christian, and Westminster Catawba.

Colleges and universities

There are three college within Rock Hill. The most prominent institution of higher learning in Rock Hill is Winthrop Universitymarker, a four-year university founded in 1886 with an annual enrollment of over 6,000 students. Clinton Junior College is a historically black, two-year institution founded by The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1894. York Technical College opened in Rock Hill in 1964. This two-year community college offers associate degrees and provides continuing education for approximately 9,000 area residents annually.


Rock Hill is home to a daily newspaper, The Herald and several magazine publications, including, Rock Hill Magazine and YC Magazine (which covers the entire county). Radio group Our Three Sons Broadcasting in Rock Hill is WRHI Radio(news/talk/sports, 1340 AM & 94.3FM)- South Carolina's 2008 & three time Radio Station of the Year & WRHM (Interstate 107 - Today's Best Country/Sports), WAVO (Standards, 1150 AM), NPR affiliate WNSCmarker (88.9 FM), PBS affiliate WNSCmarker-TV (Channel 30) and CN2 a daily cable news program produced by Comporium Communications. Southside Baptist Church of Rock Hill broadcasts Christian music and Bible teaching from the Fundamental Broadcast Network over its radio station, WRHJ 93.1. Television station WMYT-TVmarker Channel 55, the Charlotte market's MyNetworkTV affiliate, is licensed to Rock Hill but is located in Charlotte.

Seasonal Events

Rock Hill hosts several seasonal events. Each spring there is a festival called Come See Me. On Independence Day Rock Hill hosts Red, White, and Boom. And a winter festival called Christmasville Rock Hill[20068] occurs every December.


Rock Hill has one mall, the Rock Hill Galleria Mall, as well as many other shopping centers including Manchester Village - a shopping complex west of the Rock Hill Galleria Mall.


Cherry Park, located on Cherry Road in northern Rock Hill is a large public park with a strong regional draw. Glencairn Gardens[20069] is another popular Rock Hill attraction. This 10-acre garden is located on Charlotte Avenue.

Famous natives and residents

National Football League (NFL) players with ties to Rock Hill


External links

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