Aiken History

Happy Anniversary Aiken, South Carolina!

At Aiken Regional Medical Centers, we're proud to be part of a community that's so rich in history, character and tradition. Join us as we explore 20 fascinating tales of Aiken's past. You'll be surprised how much there is to learn about your hometown of Aiken, SC!

To purchase the DVD and booklet of the complete set of 30 second spots contact the Aiken County HIstorical Museum at 803-642-2015. All proceeds go to the museum.

The Iselins: Winter Colonists and Philanthropists

Charles and Hope Iselin were from New York but spent many winters in Aiken. In addition to Hopeland Gardens, this philanthropic couple was an active participant in the town's growth.
Read about this couple and the lasting mark they left in their second town. >  

Edgewood: Witness to History

A plantation home that now sits on the University of South Carolina Aiken has been in three different locations since it was built in 1829.
Find out why this house was always on the move. >  

The Immanuel Institute

Reverend W.R. Coles came to Aiken in 1881 to open a school that would help prepare the children of freed slaves for the working world.
Read more about this important school and what it means for Aiken. >  

Fred Astaire and Aiken

Fred Astaire and his family spent a lot of time in Aiken ... relaxing, golfing and training thoroughbred racehorses here.
On what steps did Astaire dance down many mornings? >  

Bobby Knowles

A member of the Palmetto Gold Club, Bobby Knowles developed the scoring system that is used at professional tournaments today.
How did Bobby bring scoring up to par? >

The Legacy of Coker Spring

Since prehistoric times, Coker Spring has been an important source of water for people and animals living in what is now Aiken.
What did this spring mean to Aiken? >  

Aiken's 1953 Gas Explosion

A natural gas explosion in 1953 leveled almost an entire block of Laurens Street, between Hayne and Richland avenues.
Read about the disaster and the effect it had. >

The Boulevards of Aiken

The story of Captain William White Williams, his daughter, a railroad and how Aiken came to be.
What was the outcome when Alfred met Sara? >  

The Yellow House and The Battle of Aiken

General Joseph Wheeler defended the Village of Aiken in one of the last battles of the American Civil War.
What happened on Park Avenue? >

From the Cotton Fields to a General

The story of a young girl from Aiken who became the first African-American female promoted to general in the U.S. Air National Guard.
Who soared to great heights? >

Two Wooden Hotels—Two Disastrous Fires

In an eerie coincidence, fire destroyed two elite hotels in Aiken—on the same date, 15 years apart.
What sparked that twist of fate? >

William Gregg and Aiken's First Peaches

Peach trees once covered thousands of acres in Aiken.
Why will searching for peach trees now be fruitless? >

Aiken and the Transit of Venus

In 1882, scientists determined that Aiken was the optimal viewing site for a rare astronomical event.
What crossed their field of vision? >

The Asparagus Capital

At one time, Aiken was one of the biggest U.S. producers of asparagus.
What dethroned “King Asparagus?” >

Aiken and The Hope Diamond

One of the most famous diamonds in the world could often be seen in Aiken before it went to the Smithsonian Institution.
When did Aiken become Hope-less? >

The Avenue of Oaks on South Boundary

The canopy of live oaks on South Boundary are of Aiken's most striking features.
Who planted the trees that are famous but not poplar? >

Suffrage and Mrs. Salley

A key crusader for women's right to vote lived right here in Aiken.
Who elected to fight for her rights, and what was her role in this important campaign? >

A Woman with a Vision: Martha Schofield

Today, a white bell tower is all that remains of the original Schofield School in Aiken.
For whom did that bell toll? >

Memorial Gate and the Blessing of the Hounds

Every year on Thanksgiving weekend, people flock to Aiken for the Blessing of the Hounds ceremony and foxhunt.
Why does Hitchcock Woods go to the dogs? >  

Aiken Musicians: The Rhythm of the Town

Through the years, many well-known musicians have called Aiken home.
Who lived here in perfect harmony? >

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Aiken Regional Medical Centers is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.        

Aiken Regional Medical Centers

302 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
803-641-5000

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