See Rock City

See Rock City

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aiken, SC

Aiken County Courthouse

Aiken, South Carolina is a city in the United States state of South Carolina. It is the county seat of Aiken County, and with Augusta, Georgia is one of the two largest cities of the Central Savannah River Area. It is also part of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area. Aiken is home to the University of South Carolina at Aiken. The population was 25,337 at the 2000 census. Aiken was recognized with the All-America City Award in 1997 by the National Civic League.

Historical events in Aiken

The history of Aiken dates to its incorporation on December 19, 1835. It was named for William Aiken, a banker in Charleston.

In the late 1800's, Aiken gained fame as a wintering spot for wealthy folk from the Northeast. Over the years Aiken has hosted many famous and notable people.

In the spring of 1931, the nation's attention was riveted on Aiken when Nicholas Longworth, Republican Speaker of the House, came down unexpectedly with pneumonia and died there on April 9, 1931. He had been visiting family friends – all long-time Republicans and fellow poker players – who had a winter home in town. Longworth was married to US President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who rushed to his side from Cincinnati, Ohio, arriving prior to his death.

1950 - Announcement of Savannah River Plant

The selection of a site near Aiken by the US Atomic Energy Commission to build a plant to produce fuel for thermonuclear weapons was announced on November 30, 1950. The site was named the Savannah River Plant (subsequently renamed Savannah River Site (SRS) in 1989). The facility contained 5 production reactors, fuel fabrication facilities, a research laboratory, heavy water production facilities, two fuel reprocessing facilities and tritium recovery facilities.


Colleges and Universities

University of South Carolina at Aiken.

Aiken Technical College

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL)is a research unit of The University of Georgia, located at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, S.C. - Since the laboratory's founding in 1951 by Dr. Eugene Odum of the University of Georgia, a pioneer of modern ecology, SREL scientists have studied the long-term ecological impacts of the SRS nuclear facility. SREL is supported by federal, state, industry, and foundation funding.

Steeplechase racing

The Aiken Steeplechase Association, founded in 1930, hosts the Imperial Cup each March and the Holiday Cup in October, both of which are steeplechase races sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. This event shows large attendances of more than 30,000 spectators.

The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1977 as a tribute to the famous flat racing and steeplechase Thoroughbred horses that trained at the The Aiken Training Track.

Other Events Held In Aiken

Aiken also hosts many polo matches at the numerous polo fields located in the city. There are also many other events held in Aiken such as:

The Lobster Races
Aiken's Makin'
Western Carolina State Fair
Battle of Aiken Reenactment
The Whiskey Road Race
Aiken Triple Crown
Fall Steeplechase

Notable residents:

In the late 1800's and the first part of the 1900's, Aiken served as a winter playground for many of the country's wealthiest families such the Vanderbilts, Bostwicks, and the Whitneys.

George H. Bostwick (1909-1982) court tennis player, a steeplechase jockey and horse trainer, and an eight-goal polo player.

Dwight Filley Davis, 1879 - 1945, an American tennis player and politician who is best remembered as the founder of the Davis Cup international tennis competition, had a summer home in Aiken.

Robert C. De Large, (1842-1874), born in Aiken, United States Congressman from South Carolina in a contested election

Thomas Hitchcock and his wife Louise spent a great deal of time at their 3,000-acre (12 km2) estate near Aiken where in 1892 he founded the Palmetto Golf Club. In 1916, Louise Hitchcock founded the Aiken Preparatory School. The Hitchcocks built a steeplechase training center on their property and trained weanlings imported from England. In 1930, Thomas Hitchcock was one of the founders of the Aiken Steeplechase Association. Fond of fox hunting, they also established the Aiken Hounds and in 1916 received official recognition from the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America.

Tommy Hitchcock, Jr. (1900-1944), son of Thomas and Louise Hitchcock, was born in Aiken. He is considered one of the greatest polo players of all-time. A veteran of the Lafayette Escadrille in World War I, he was killed in the service of his country in World War II.

Rufus Holley (1952- ), trailer park designer.

Dr. Eugene Odum In 1951 he founded the SREL lab in Aiken South Carolina to study the long-term ecological impacts of the Savannah River Site nuclear facility.

Strom Thurmond, (1902-2003), former US Senator who owned several residences in Aiken.

Lee Atwater, (1951-1991), Republican political consultant and former Chairman of Republican National Committee

William Refrigerator Perry, former NFL defensive lineman and 3-time NCAA All-American (1982-1984).

Michael Dean Perry, former NFL defensive lineman, 6-time pro bowler (89-91, 93-94, 96), NCAA first-team All-American (1987).

Birthplace of Marly Youmans, novelist and poet.

Paul Williams, current WBO Welterweight Champion.

Paul Wight, professional wrestler

Troy Williamson, professional football player.

John Shipman, noted artist

James Walter "Jimmy" Carter, champion boxer

Grace Taylor, Gymnast

Abrar Mohiuddin, Chemical Engineer/professional arm wrestler

The Southside

The Southside is the southern area of the city of Aiken, which strongly increased in development after the construction of the Savannah River Site. It now serves as the premiere shopping district in Aiken County, being the location of the Aiken Mall, multiple retail stores, and several restaurants. A large residential community, Woodside, includes some of the most prestigious homes in Aiken and has multiple golf courses within the gated community.

Aiken Municipal Airport

Although no scheduled commercial flights run through the airport, it is a very busy airport with multiple executive partners from nearby businesses. It has two newly paved runways, a newly renovated terminal, and is in close proximity with Interstate 20.

Aiken In Pictures:

WEST (FRONT) AND SOUTH (SIDE) ELEVATIONS, LOOKING NORTHEAST - Stony Point, Northeast corner of SC 246 & SC 39, Greenwood, Greenwood County, SC

Stony Point, Northeast corner of SC 246 and SC 39,

77 Taylor Street (House), Graniteville,

Palmetto golf links, Aiken, S.C.
Hotel Park in the Pines Aiken South Carolina

Park in the Pines Hotel, Aiken, S.C
The Devil's backbone, Aiken, S.C.  family photo

The Devil's backbone, Aiken, S.C.
The Park in the Pines, Aiken South Carolina, 1904 Rotograph Undivided #A12604 m

Park in the Pines, Aiken, S.C.

W.C. Whitney's residence, Aiken, S.C.

Lover's [sic] Lane, Aiken, S.C.
Scene in Magnolia (colored) cemetery, Aiken, S.C.

Scene in Magnolia (Africian-American) cemetery, Aiken, S.C.
Wilcox's [i.e. Willcox's] hotel and cafe, Aiken, S.C.

Wilcox's [i.e. Willcox's] hotel and cafe, Aiken, S.C.

External links:

The official website of the City of Aiken

The Aiken Chamber of Commerce

Aiken South Carolina Explorer

Aiken High School

Savannah River Site

Hitchcock Woods