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Hopelands Gardens – Aiken, South Carolina

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Hopelands Gardens

Hopelands Gardens is a beautiful 14-acre garden located a few blocks from downtown Aiken. The property boasts many varieties of local flora and is known for its enormous and elegant oak trees. The estate was once a farm in the nineteenth century; when Charles Oliver Iselin and his wife, Hope, purchased the property in 1897, it was converted into an Aiken oasis for the wealthy New York couple who had previously spent winters in Aiken, usually renting Rye Patch for their visits.

Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2005 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Iselins were a sporting couple who brought their love for Thoroughbred racing to Aiken, considered the Horse Capital of the South. They were also noted philanthropists, both in their home state of New York and in Aiken. For a time Hope Iselin ran the Martha Schofield School in Aiken, established to educate African American girls. The couple also founded the Aiken Hospital and Relief Society in 1917 and also commissioned the Old Aiken Hospital, built by African-American contractors McGhee and McGhee.

Hopelands Gardens Amphitheater

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Charles Oliver Iselin died in 1932, and Hope Iselin continued serving the communities she loved until her death in 1970. She bequeathed her estate to the City of Aiken; however, she allowed the gardens to be opened to the public in 1969, prior to her death. Paths shaded by ancient oak trees wind through the many gardens, grassy fields, ponds, and wetlands, allowing visitors to get lost in the natural beauty of Hopelands.

Hopelands Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2005 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

‘The Dollhouse,’ seen above, is a popular attraction at Hopelands Gardens. It was the former playhouse and schoolhouse of the Iselin children. Mrs. Iselin famously ordered it straight from the Sears & Roebuck catalog in the early 1900s, and it still stands today. The Aiken Garden Club Council now uses it for meetings and decorates it for the Christmas holidays. Other attractions in the gardens include the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and the Carriage Museum.

More Pictures of Hopelands Gardens

Hopeland Gardens Oak

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2002 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Gardens Paths

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2004 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Garden Boardwalk

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2002 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Gardens Bridge

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2004 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Gardens Trails

Phil Smith, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Gardens Walking Trails

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Iselin Statue at Hopeland Gardens

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hopelands Gardens Info

Address: 135 Dupree Place, Aiken, SC 29801
GPS Coordinates: 33.547807,-81.723648

Hopelands Gardens Map

Hopelands Gardens – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Hopelands Gardens, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

4 Comments about Hopelands Gardens

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
September 29th, 2014 at 6:31 am

It is handicap accessible? Have a wonderful visit!

Hank KalbachNo Gravatar says:
September 28th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I would like to know if Hopelands Gardens is handicap accessible, as my wife needs a wheelchair.

NikoleNo Gravatar says:
June 25th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Only one visit here and I was mesmerized!

JennyNo Gravatar says:
September 1st, 2010 at 11:17 am

This is absolutely beautiful!


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