Aiken County Historical Museum – Aiken, South Carolina
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Located in downtown Aiken, the Aiken County Historical Museum features a wide variety of collections relating to the history of Aiken County, from its earliest settlers to today. The museum’s collection is housed in Banksia, a 1931 winter colony mansion.
Banksia is the former retreat of New York businessman Richard Howe. Part of the home was built in 1840, and additions were made during the 1930s. The museum, located downtown on Newberry Street, now occupies all 32 rooms of the house and is open free to the public.
On this 3.5 acre property, you will also find the Ergle Log House. It was built in 1808 and is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Aiken County.
Displays at the Aiken County Historical Museum
One of the most important displays at the Aiken County Historical Museum is called “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.” It is a tribute to the people whose homes were destroyed in order for the Savannah River Site to be built. We do not have any photos of the display at this time, but if you can add one, please send it here.
This exhibit in the Aiken County Historical Museum shows a replica of Moody’s Drugstore, which was once operated by Henry Moody in adjacent Barnwell County. The sign on the exhibit tells the story of how this 1950s drugstore was almost entirely resurrected: “In 1952, the town [of Dunbarton] and surrounding area was bought by the federal government to develop the site for the Savannah River Plant. Rather than try to sell the store, Mr. Moody dismantled it, packed up the contents, and stored them in a barn on his farm. The fixtures and the merchandise stayed in the barn for 32 years until in 1984 the collection was donated to the Museum, giving a unique glimpse into life in a small southern town in the 1950s.”
H. Odell Weeks was the mayor of Aiken for 40 years. He retired in 1991, and passed away the next year. The Aiken County Historical Museum now houses this exhibit, a replica of his old office, complete with photographs, official recognitions, and memorabilia from his alma mater, Clemson University. The town’s Activities Center was named in his honor.
Aiken County Historical Museum Info
Address: 433 Newberry Street SW, Aiken, SC 29801
Aiken County Historical Museum Map
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