Historic Markers Across Alabama

History of York / Coleman Center

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: 630 Avenue A, York, AL
County: Sumter
Coordinates: N 32° 29.08    W 088° 17.729
  32.48466666    -88.29548333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None



Legend has it that the City of 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 on the old Livingston-Gaston stagecoach road named their community New York Station. The railroads expanded and took business from the stagecoach line, and the two communities merged in 1838 and gradually grew toward the railroad. Railways passing through York have included the 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 a 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.


The Coleman Center for the Arts was founded in 1985 through the grassroots efforts of local citizens under the leadership of York native Dorothy"Tut” Altman Riddick. Located on York's historic Avenue A, the Coleman Center's campus includes buildings that formerly served as an auto mechanic's shop, a general mercantile store, a hardware store, and the original Bank of York. The buildings were donated and renovated through generous contributions from local families, individuals, and organizations. The Coleman Center has evolved into a contemporary arts organization with a gallery, an educational program, and an internationally recognized artist-in-residence program focused on community-driven public art. The organization nurtures partnerships between artists and community to answer civic needs and build local pride, and it is a proud member of the Andy Warhol Foundation's Warhol Initiative.

End of History of York / Coleman Center