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Aiken, South Carolina
—  City  —
Aiken County Courthouse
Location of Aiken, South Carolina
Coordinates: 33°32′58″N 81°43′14″W / 33.54944°N 81.72056°W / 33.54944; -81.72056Coordinates: 33°32′58″N 81°43′14″W / 33.54944°N 81.72056°W / 33.54944; -81.72056
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Aiken
Incorporated 1835
Government [1][2]
 - Type Council-manager
 - Mayor Fred Cavanaugh
 - City Manager Roger LeDuc
Area
 - 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)
Population (2006)
 - Total 28,829
 Density 1,566.3/sq mi (604.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 803
FIPS code 45-00550[3]
GNIS feature ID 1244853[4]
Website www.aiken.net

Aiken is a city in and the county seat of Aiken County, South Carolina, United States.[5] With Augusta, Georgia, it 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.

Contents

Geography

Aiken is located at 33°32′58″N 81°43′14″W / 33.54944°N 81.72056°W / 33.54944; -81.72056 (33.549397, -81.720689)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.2 square miles (41.9 km²).

Demographics

Population in 1890, 2,362; in 1900, 3,414; in 1910, 3,911; in 1940, 6,168. As of the census[3] 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 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.

Government

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 in Aiken

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

In the late 1800s, Aiken gained fame as a wintering spot for wealthy people 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.

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1950 - Announcement of 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 contained 5 production reactors, fuel fabrication facilities, a research laboratory, heavy water production facilities, two fuel reprocessing facilities and tritium recovery facilities.

Historic places

Education

Schools

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, [2] 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 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, Bostwicks, and the Whitneys.

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, include some of the most prestigious homes in Aiken and have multiple golf courses within the communities.

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

References

External links


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