Old Aiken Hospital – Aiken, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Aiken County Photos  |  Old Aiken Hospital

New England socialite Hope Goddard Iselin and her husband, Charles Oliver Iselin, were part of the American aristocracy who would winter in mansions built in Aiken towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. This district of town became known as the Winter Colony. The winter residents brought with them the elite sports of polo and Thoroughbred racing, which remain popular in Aiken today. The Islelins’ grand estate, Hopelands Gardens, is now a public garden that attracts both history and nature lovers. Committed philanthropists, the Iselins established the Aiken Hospital and Relief Society in 1917 and commissioned the facility pictured below, built by African-American contractors McGhee and McGhee.

Old Aiken Hospital

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Locals tell the story of Hope Iselin, an adventurer who competed in the America’s Cup yacht race as the first female crew member, winning a considerable sum of money in a poker game. According to the tale, she then tried to donate it to a local church that refused the money on the grounds that it was acquired through gambling. Wishing to apply her winnings towards the good of others, she is said to have used it to build the hospital. Whether this legend is true or not, the Iselins are responsible for the construction of the 6,000-square-foot building that served the Aiken Hospital and Relief Society until it closed temporarily in 1924. It reopened in 1927 and officially became the Aiken County Hospital in 1936 with support from the Public Works Administration and the Duke Foundation.

Aiken Hospital

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The county hospital remained here until 1976 when a new hospital was built. The old hospital building was then utilized by the Aiken County government as administrative space until the new Aiken County Complex was completed in 2014. Today the Old Aiken Hospital is used for storage space for the county government.

Old Aiken Hospital Info

Address: Richland Avenue and Vaucluse Road, SC 29801

Old Aiken Hospital Map

Old Aiken Hospital – 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 Old Aiken Hospital, 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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2 Comments about Old Aiken Hospital

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
November 7th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Hi, Carsten. We only use the contributed images we post for preservation purposes; the photos actually belong to the photographers. However, if they have a link, you are free to write the photographer and request the use of the image. Best of luck in your endeavors!

Carsten KrohnNo Gravatar says:
November 6th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I am doing research on a certain Dr. Cicero Parker Meek (1914 – 1979) who worked at the old county hospital. This is the reason why I came across your site. Please: Would you allow me to use the photographs of the old county hospital for a lecture on the MEEK-Technique, and: Could you help me to find further information about Meek himself? He died unrecognized and I want to refresh our Memories to this wonderful surgeon. Thank you, Carsten Krohn


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