1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aiken

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AIKEN, a city and the county-seat of Aiken county, South Carolina, U.S.A., 17 m. E.N.E. of Augusta, Georgia. Pop. (1890) 2362; (1900) 3414 (2131 of negro descent); (1910) 3911. It is served by the Southern railway, and by an electric line connecting with Augusta. Aiken is a fashionable winter resort, chiefly frequented by Northerners, and is pleasantly situated about 500 ft. above sea level in the heart of the famous sand-hill and pine-forest region of the state. The dry and unusually equable temperature (mean for winter 50° F., for spring 57° F., and for autumn 64° F.) and the balmy air laden with the fragrance of the pine forests have combined to make Aiken a health and pleasure resort; its climate is said to be especially beneficial for those afflicted with pulmonary diseases. There are fine hotels, club houses and cottages, and the Palmetto Golf Links near the city are probably the finest in the southern states; fox-hunting, polo, tennis and shooting are among the popular sports. There are some excellent drives in the vicinity. The city is the seat of the Aiken Institute (for whites) and the Schofield Normal and Industrial School (for negroes). There are lumber mills, cotton mills and cotton-gins; and cotton, farm products and artificial stone are exported. Considerable quantities of aluminium are obtained from the kaolin deposits in the vicinity. The city's water supply is obtained from artesian wells. Aiken was settled in the early part of the 19th century, but was not incorporated until 1835, when it was named in honour of William Aiken (1806-1887), governor of the state in 1844--1847, and a representative in Congress in 1851-1857.