History of Fort Mill

People Standing on a SidewalkEstablished in 1873, the Town of Fort Mill is located just south of the North Carolina state line and close to the neighboring areas of Rock Hill, SC to the south and Charlotte, NC to the north. Take a walk through our historic downtown and you’ll find some of the buildings on Main Street date back to the 1800s, providing evidence of the growth of the Town’s business district during that time. Our Main Street continues to boast a robust array of restaurants and businesses offering local options for the residents of Fort Mill.

Steeped in history, the Town takes its name from a colonial-era fort built by the British and a grist mill on nearby Steele Creek. The Catawba Indians made their home here for many years. Scotch-Irish settlers began arriving in the 1750s and 1760s and a small settlement soon developed. In the mid-1700s Thomas Spratt and his wife Elizabeth became some of the first settlers in the area and their descendants still live here. 

Fort Mill grew rapidly in the late 1800s as textile mills were established. After the establishment of the Fort Mill Manufacturing Company in 1887, Fort Mill grew into a major center for textile manufacturing. For more than 100 years, the company (later called Springs Industries) expanded. In 2006, Springs Industries merged with a Brazilian textile manufacturer to form Springs Global and eventually moved their office HQ facilities away from Fort Mill. While textiles are no longer the predominant industry in Fort Mill, the region’s economy has continued to grow and diversify. Today, the Fort Mill area is home to major employers such as Piedmont Medical Center, Black and Decker, Daimler, Domtar, Lash Group, LPL Financial and Atrium Health. 

Fort Mill has long benefitted from its geographic location and access to major transportation routes, from Nation Ford Road and the Catawba River to the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta Railroad (now Norfolk Southern), U.S. Highway 21, and Interstate 77.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2021, more than 27,000 people now live within the Town's limits.  This represents a 136% increase in the last decade.

Fort Mill South Carolina Displayed on a Brick Wall