"Pleasant Adventure Not on Original Travel Plans" Aiken by riorich55

Aiken Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 29 photos

Just Horsing Around and a Little History

After we had stopped at the South Carolina Visitor Center just across the border from Georgia and received a detailed map of South Carolina along with other assorted brochures we took the exit off the interstate and headed toward Aiken. What we discovered was a quiet Southern town with a few nice surprises.

First, a little history taken from 2 markers in the downtown area.

Aiken, chartered in 1835, was an early stop on the Charleston to Hamburg railroad line. It became the county seat of Aiken County when it was established in 1871. The town is named after William Aiken (1779-1831) who was the first president of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.

The only Civil War battle in the area was fought near the end of the war on February 11, 1865.

Aiken's mild climate and accessibility by railroad soon made it a health resort for visitors hoping to escape the summer heat or seeking relief from various types of lung ailments. The city's resort status was enhanced in the late 19th and early 20th century with its fame as a "Winter Colony" created by wealthy Northeners who built houses, golf courses, polo fields, race tracks and stables.

In the 1950's there was a population boom after the construction and opening of the Savannah River Plant which was used for the creation of nuclear material.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small, Beautiful Little City with Nice Downtown
  • In a nutshell:Surprises Awaited Us Around Every Turn
  • Last visit to Aiken: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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