Aiken, South Carolina
|Aiken, South Carolina|
|— City —|
|Country||United States of America|
|• Mayor||Fred Cavanaugh|
|• City Manager||Richard Pearce|
|• Total||16.2 sq mi (41.9 km2)|
|• Land||16.2 sq mi (41.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||515 ft (157 m)|
|• Density||1,566.3/sq mi (604.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1244853|
Aiken (pron.: //) is a city in and the county seat of Aiken County, South Carolina, United States. With Augusta, Georgia, it is one of the two largest cities of the Central Savannah River Area. It is part of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area. Aiken is home to the University of South Carolina at Aiken. The population was 29,494 at the 2010 census. Aiken was recognized with the All-America City Award in 1997 by the National Civic League.
Geography & climate 
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 (42 km2).
Aiken has a Humid subtropical climate, which is characterized by hot, humid summers and cool, dry winter, but in this part of the state experiences milder temperatures throughout the year than the rest of the state. Precipitation does not vary much between the seasons with mostly rain in the milder months and sometimes snow in the winter months.
|Climate data for Aiken, SC|
|Record high °F (°C)||82
|Average high °F (°C)||55
|Average low °F (°C)||33
|Record low °F (°C)||−4
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.74
|Source: The Weather Channel|
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 per square mile (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 or Latino 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.
Aiken is governed via a mayor-council system. A mayor is elected at-large. The city council consists of six members. Four are elected from districts and the other two are elected at-large.
Historical events 
The history of Aiken dates to its incorporation on December 19, 1835. It was named for William Aiken, the first railroad president.
The writer Gamel Woolsey, who coined the phrase "pornography of violence" in her memoir of the Spanish Civil War, Death's Other Kingdom (also published under the title Malaga Burning), was born in Aiken in 1895.
In the late 19th century, Aiken gained fame as a wintering spot for wealthy people from the Northeast. The Aiken Winter Colony was establish by Thomas Hitchcock, Sr. and William C. Whitney. Over the years Aiken became a winter home for many famous and notable people including George H. Bostwick, James B. Eustis, Madeleine Astor, William Kissam Vanderbilt, Eugene Grace president of Bethlehem Steel, Allan Pinkerton, W. Averell Harriman and many others.
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.
Many of the streets in central downtown Aiken are named for other cities and counties in South Carolina, including Abbeville, Barnwell, Beaufort, Chesterfield, Colleton, Columbia, Dillon, Edgefield, Edisto, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Orangeburg, Pendleton, Pickens, Richland, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York.
Savannah River Plant 
The selection of a site near Aiken by the United States 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 to the Savannah River Site in 1989). The facility contains 5 production reactors, fuel fabrication facilities, a research laboratory, heavy water production facilities, two fuel reprocessing facilities and tritium recovery facilities.
Historic places 
- Aiken Preparatory School
- Aiken Polo Club
- Aiken Tennis Club
- Palmetto Golf Club
- Aiken Golf Club
- St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church
- Hopelands Gardens
- Aiken High School
- South Aiken High School
- South Aiken Baptist Christian School
- Aiken Christian School
- Aiken Preparatory School
- Mead Hall Episcopal School
- Silver Bluff High School
- St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School, a private elementary and middle school.
- Lloyd Kennedy Charter School
- Kennedy Middle School
- Aiken Middle School
- Schofield Middle School
- JD Lever Elementary School
- Aiken Elementary
- Millbrook Elementary
- North Aiken Elementary
Colleges and universities 
- University of South Carolina at Aiken.
- Aiken Technical College
- 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.
Other events 
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
- Bluegrass Festival
Notable people 
- George H. Bostwick (1909–1982) court tennis player, a steeplechase jockey and horse trainer, and an eight-goal polo player. "Pete" was the grandson of Jabez A. Bostwick a wealthy Standard Oil partner.
- 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.
- William C. Whitney helped establish the "Winter Colony" taking the small "Joye Cottage" and building a 69-room winter residence with 15 bathrooms a full-size ballroom and a stable to house 30 horses.
- 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 helped found 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.
- Hope Goddard Iselin, wife of Charles Oliver Iselin and the original owner of Hopeland Gardens in Aiken.
- Devereux_Milburn a 10 goal polo player and
- Fred Astaire, actor and dancer
- F. Ambrose Clark noted American equestrian and heir to the Singer Sewing Machine Company fortune.
- Seymour H. Knox II and his sister Dorothy Knox Goodyear Rogers heirs to the founder of F. W. Woolworth Company
- William Ziegler Jr. adopted son of William Ziegler and heir to the Royal Baking Powder fortune
- William Kissam Vanderbilt had a home in Aiken called Elm Court.
- Robert C. De Large, (1842–1874), born in Aiken, United States Congressman from South Carolina in a contested election
- Eugene Odum The father of Ecology who wrote the book "Fundamentals of Ecology." In 1951 he founded the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory 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
- Barney Chavous, former American football defensive end/defensive tackle in the NFL. He played his entire thirteen-year career with the Denver Broncos from 1973-1985. Chavous was drafted to the NFL from South Carolina State University in the 2nd round.
- Corey Chavous, former All American football player playing 10 years in the NFL
- 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).
- Marly Youmans, novelist and poet, born in Aiken
- Paul Williams, current WBO Welterweight Champion.
- Paul Wight, professional wrestler
- Troy Williamson, professional football player.
- James Walter "Jimmy" Carter, champion boxer
- Grace Taylor, gymnast
- Anna Camp, actress, best known as Sarah Newlin in the HBO series True Blood
- Andy Williams, singer
- Gamel Woolsey (1895–1968), writer and poet, born in Aiken
- Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Pulitzer Prize–winning writers
- Matilda Evans, first African-American woman licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina
- Tilden Hilderbrand, civil engineer who has planned many of the projects in Aiken. He planned buildings such as the cinema, many hotels, schools, and the SPCA
- Dekoda Watson, athlete, linebacker with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 2006 graduate of South Aiken High School.
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. Two large residential communities, Houndslake Country Club and Woodside Plantation, have multiple golf courses within the communities. Many newcomers take up residence in either Houndslake or Woodside; however, the most prestigious homes are located in historic downtown Aiken.
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.
See also 
- About: City of Aiken, South Carolina
- City Managers Office: City of Aiken, South Carolina
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Average Weather for Aiken, SC – Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved Nov 26, 2011.
- "Hopelands Gardens". City of Aiken. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Aiken.|
- Official website
- The Aiken Chamber of Commerce
- Aiken South Carolina Explorer
- Aiken High School
- Savannah River Site
- Hitchcock Woods
- Houndslake Country Club
- Houndslake Guest House
- Mead Hall Episcopal School
- Visit Aiken!
- City of Aiken Historical Marker