York, Alabama

Coleman Arts Center, York, Alabama

Coleman Arts Center, York, Alabama

“History of York,” historical marker:

Legend has it that York began at a blacksmith shop called Old Anvil located at a crossroads a few miles northwest of the present city.  Circa 1833, early settlers of a site located east of modern-day York located on the old Livingston-Gaston stagecoach road named their community New York Station.  The railroads expanded and took business from the stagecoach line.  The two communities merged in 1838 and gradually grew toward the railroad.  Railways passing through York have included Southern Railway System, the Alabama Great Southern Railroad, and the Alabama, Tennessee and Northern Railroad.  In the 1850s the permanent community of New York Station was established, and train station and hotel were built to service the railroad.  The name was shortened to York Station in 1861, and following the discovery that another community also bore that name, it was further shortened to York when the town was officially incorporated on April 6, 1881.

1.)       Historical Facts

York was rumored to have been named for York, England.

Sumter County High School opened its doors for the first time in York in 1923.  Ralph Draughan was appointed coach and teacher.

Ralph Draughan also took the lead role in establishing the first public library.

The Coleman Center for the Arts was established in 1982 and is currently housed in a former general store building that dates back to 1904-1905.

2.)       York Historical Sites

“Hearn-McLemore House” was built in 1890 and is located on Rumley Road.  It is Vernacular style with Victorian elements.

“Cahoon-Davis House” was built in 1840 and is located on Fourth Avenue.  It is also Vernacular style.

Coleman Center building was built in 1904 and is located on Second Avenue.  It houses the City Library, a museum focusing primarily on contemporary arts and crafts (by Alabama artists), and it provides space for arts and crafts workshops.