The settlement began in 1766 as the two-hundred-acre farm of Colonel William Bratton (ca. 1742–1815), but by the early nineteenth century Brattonsville had become one of the largest plantations in the upstate.
Brattonsville is the site of a large eighteenth-and nineteenth-century plantation in southern York County situated on the south fork of Fishing Creek. The settlement began in 1766 as the two-hundred-acre farm of Colonel William Bratton (ca. 1742–1815), but by the early nineteenth century Brattonsville had become one of the largest plantations in the upstate. William Bratton’s youngest son, John Simpson Bratton (1789–1843), inherited the bulk of the estate after his father’s death, and he constructed the large two-story Georgian plantation home now known as the Homestead. He also operated a post office and store at Brattonsville and converted his parents’ old log house into the Brattonsville Female Academy. His wife, Harriet Rainey Bratton (1795–1843), continued to operate the plantation after her husband’s death, remodeling the Homestead and building the two-story Brick House. John Simpson Bratton II (1819–1888) followed in his father’s footsteps and became a wealthy cotton planter, and in the early 1850s he built a two-story mansion in the Italianate villa style, originally named Forest Hall but now called Hightower Hall. The Brattons actively supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, and following the conflict the family’s fortunes began to decline. The Brattons left the plantation and moved to the nearby town of Yorkville (now York) in the early twentieth century, and Brattonsville was turned over to tenant farmers. In the 1970s the property was acquired by the York County Historical Commission and converted into a historic site, now known as Historic Brattonsville.
Mendenhall, Samuel Brooks. Tales of York County. Rock Hill, S.C.: Reynolds and Reynolds, 1989.
Moore, Maurice A. Reminiscences of York. Edited by Elmer O. Parker. Greenville, S.C.: A Press, 1981.
Wilkins, Joseph C., Howell C. Hunter, Jr., and Richard F. Carillo. Historical, Architectural, and Archeological Research at Brattonsville (38YK21), York County, South Carolina. Columbia: Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, 1975.