Fort Mill, South Carolina is a city with a rich history, taking its name from a colonial-era fort built by the British and from a grinding mill near Steele Creek. The Catawba Indians were the original inhabitants of the area, and Scots-Irish settlers began arriving in the 1750s and 1760s. Thomas Spratt and his wife Elizabeth were some of the first settlers in the area, and their descendants still live here today. One of the most iconic landmarks in Fort Mill is the Springfield Plantation House, the oldest wood-framed house in the city.
Constructed in 1906 for John Barron Mills, Sr., this neoclassical house was built during Fort Mill's economic boom due to the success of the local textile industry. Mills was the store manager for Fort Mill Manufacturing Company and later established his own business, a clothing and dry goods store called Mills and Young. Mills was a successful merchant and a highly respected business leader, and his home is considered to be the best of its kind in Fort Mill. After Mills' death, the house became owned by the Mack family, relatives of the Mills.
The house is an example of classic Renaissance style, constructed as part of the expansion of residential areas of Fort Mill during a period of prosperity and growth driven by the development of the textile industry. Fort Mill has long benefited from its geographical location and access to major transportation routes, from Nation Ford Road and the Catawba River to the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta Railroads (now Norfolk Southern), U. S. Highway 21, I-77 and I-485. Today, Fort Mill is home to major employers such as Piedmont Medical Center, Black and Decker, Daimler, Domtar, Lash Group, LPL Financial and Atrium Health.
The Springfield Plantation House is an important part of Fort Mill's history. It was also the site of one of the last Confederate meetings during the Civil War. Visitors can explore this historic house to learn more about Fort Mill's past.