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
. 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
Aiken is located at (33.549397, -81.720689).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.2 square miles (41.9 km²), of which, 16.2 square miles (41.9 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water.
Population in 1890, 2,362; in 1900, 3,414; in 1910, 3,911; in 1940, 6,168. As of the census
of 2000, there were 25,337 people, 10,287 households, and 6,758 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,566.3 people per square mile (604.6/km²). There were 11,373 housing units at an average density of 703.1/sq mi (271.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.63% White
, 30.30% African American
, 0.25% Native American
, 1.28% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.44% from other races
, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.49% of the population.
There were 10,287 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,100, and the median income for a family was $63,520. Males had a median income of $51,988 versus $28,009 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,129. About 10.1% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
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 1800s, 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.
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
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
In the late 1800s and the first part of the 1900s, Aiken served as a winter playground for many of the country's wealthiest families such the Vanderbilts
, 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 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.
- Stickman, The (????-????), well-known local figure, slight paranoid tendencies, present status unknown.
- Strom Thurmond, (1902-2003), former US Senator who owned several residences in Aiken.
- 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