We visited Brattonsville on 9/18/2021. This historic site is located in York county, SC. Brattonsville road splits the site into two sections one going back to the 18th century and the other to the 19th century. It is a Culture & Heritage Museum with events scheduled throughout the year including interpretive and historic enactment programs. I enjoyed wandering among the old structures considering how life used to be two hundred and sixty years ago as the Revolutionary War made its way to South Carolina. I marveled at how well the place is maintained and watched with great interest demonstrations by volunteers dressed in period clothings. It was easy to be transported back in time imagining cotton picking, raising farm animals, even the fog of gun powder as the SC militia fought loyalists at the battle of Huck.
Three Bratton brothers William, Robert and Hugh who were Scotish-Irish settlers moved to South Carolina and purchased land in York county in 1766. They developed their land into a plantation which was later complimented with a store and a post office. Col. William Bratton along with Captain McClure led a group of militia men in 1780 surprising and defeating a British Troup led by Capt. Huk who had encamped at Brattonsville looking for them.
The Brattons were prosperous. At the time of his death, William owned 139 slaves. He was a rich planter and served as a local judge, a sheriff and state legislator. His wife and children inherited his fortune and continued to prosper. Today the property spans 800 acres. It “features 30 colonial and antebellum structures, slave homes, three Bratton houses a Revolutionary War battelfield, the Walt Shrader Nature Trails, and heritage breed farm animals.” The main plantation houses are being renovated (Colonel Bratton’s house and the Homestead House) but visitors can see inside other structures. Most are original, others were relocated to the site. Brattonsville is a living farm raising chicken, sheep, pigs and planting a field of cotton.
It became a historic district under the care of York County Culture and Heritage Museums and was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1971. According to the museum’s web site “It stands as a testament to the pioneering spirit and industry of the Bratton family, and to the hard work and sacrifice of their descendants and slaves.”
On the day we visited, we enjoyed history reenactment demonstrations by volunteers impersonating revolutionary war patriot militias, 18th century farmers, young ladies writing calligraphy with ink and feather pens. We were shown how to fire a rifle and a musket. I held both. They felt heavy very quickly especially after a bayonet was added. You can watch a video of the demonstration below.
After visiting the buildings and learning about the events that took place on the site, we proceeded to hike the short and easy battlefield trail with markers explaining the events of the battle that took place there in 1780.
I highly recommend visiting Brattonsville especially if you are interested in history. The entry fee is $8 per person, $7 for seniors.
Reference Culture & Heritage Museums
Revolutionary War Artillery and Battlefield Trail
18th Century Section
19th Century Section
Blogs near Rock Hill/ Charlotte area
- Crowders Mountain State Park
- McDowell Nature Center
- Glencairn Garden, June 2020
- Glencairn Garde, April 2021
- Kings Mountain State Park
- Kings Mountain National Military Park
- Ann Springs Greenway
- Carolina Thread
- Founders Trail
- Draper WMA
- Historic Brattonsville
- Immersive Van Gogh, NC