2-1 South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company
Original Track Location Intersection Laurens and Park Avenue
Aiken began first successful scheduled steam railroad service in America on December 25.1830 and by 1833 its 136 miles from Charleston to Hamburg made it the world's longest railroad Now part of Southern Railway System. (View Marker)
2-2 Western Terminus South Carolina Railroad
US 1 & US 25 at Savannah River
Near the foot of this bluff in the old town of Hamburg stood the western terminus of the S. C. Canal and Rail Road Co. Begun in 1830, it was the first steam-operated railroad to offer regular passenger service and to carry U. S. mail. Completed in 1833 to this point 136 miles from Charleston, it was the world's longest railroad. Erected by Aiken County Historical Commission—1962
US 1 at the Savannah River
Situated between this point and the Savannah River, Hamburg was a thriving river port and trading center for cotton and tobacco. Founded in 1821 by Henry Schultz and incorporated December 19, 1827, Hamburg became the most important interior port in South Carolina. With changing times and fortunes, prosperous Hamburg declined. Only ruins remain. Erected by Aiken County Historical Commission—1963
2-4 Historic Church
US 278 about 2 miles below Beech Island at entrance to Redcliffe Plantation State Park This church was built in 1836 by Beech Island Presbyterian Church, organized in 1827 with the Rev. Nathan H. Hoyt of Vermont as first pastor. His son-in-law, the Rev. Edward Axson, was ordained and served here. His daughter, Ellen, wife of Woodrow Wilson, was baptized here. In 1950 the building was consecrated as All Saints Episcopal Church. Erected by All Saints Episcopal Church—1967 (View Marker)
2-5 James U. Jackson
US 25-bus., N. Augusta, near Savannah River
(Front) James U. Jackson Memorial Bridge The first North Augusta bridge was built in 1891 by James U. Jackson. The present bridge, built in 1939, was formally dedicated as "The James U. Jackson Memorial Bridge." The building of the 1891 bridge, the Augusta-Aiken street car line, and the magnificent Hampton Terrace Hotel earned him the title "Founder of North Augusta."
(Reverse) James U. Jackson (1856-1925) A native of Augusta, Georgia, he graduated from Richmond Academy and the University of Georgia. In 1889, he founded the North Augusta Land Company, which built the old 13th Street Bridge. He was the prime mover in the development of North Augusta, S. C. A prominent railroad executive, he secured the Union Railway Station for Augusta. Erected by North Augusta • Historical Society—1972
2-6 The Martintown Road
On SC 230, 2 blocks S of intersection O/SC230 (Martintown Rd.) and US 25 (Georgia Ave.), North Augusta In the 1730s, an Indian path from Fort Moore to the Saluda ridge was used by traders going to the Cherokee Nation. Later, a wagon road from Ninety Six to Augusta followed the same route. Named for the Martin family who lived beside it and served well the cause of the Revolution, it was widely used during that conflict by Patriots, Tories, and British. Erected by Martintown Road Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution— 1972
2-7 Beech Island Agricultural Club US 278 at junction of Road 1139 (Front) Beech Island Agricultural Club On January 5, 1856, Governor James H. Hammond and eleven other farmers of this area organized the Beech Island Agricultural Club for the diffusion of agricultural knowledge and the regulation of illegal slave traffic. Monthly meetings and barbecues have been held almost without interruption since the club's founding.
(Reverse) Beech Island Agricultural Club In 1883 E. Spann Hammond donated to the Beech Island Agricultural Club a four-acre circular tract of land located less than a mile north of this site. The original clubhouse was destroyed by fire on August 7, 1967. The site of the building is marked by a dedicatory plaque. The new club house was dedicated in June 1968. (View Marker)
2-8 Aiken County
Court House grounds, downtown Aiken.
Aiken County, created in 1871 from parts of Barnwell, Edgefield, Lexington, and Orangeburg counties, was named for William Aiken, first president of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company. Older industries in the county today are textiles and the mining and processing of kaolin. In 1952, the Atomic Energy Commission's Savannah River Plant began operations. Erected by Aiken County Historical Commission—1979 (View Marker)
2-9 Savannah Town – Fort Moore
At Savannah River on SC 28 (Front) Savannah Town
Forerunner of modern towns and highways and known to the English as early as 1685, this Indian town stood at a major northwestern entrance into S.C. on the trading routes to the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Lower Cherokees. Both town and river were named for the Savannah Indians who lived in the area.
(Reverse) Fort Moore Following the disastrous Yamasee War, Fort Moore, "the most important of South Carolina's early forts," was constructed here in 1716 to protect the province from future attack and to guard the vital trading routes to the major southern Indians. It was garrisoned until 1766, when the growing settlement of Georgia made it no longer needed. Erected by Andrews Masonic Lodge, Beech Island—1985
2-10 Pascalis - Pascalina
On US 78 about half mile below Montmorenci
(Front) Pascalis Plantation Elizabeth Pascalis purchased these 790 acres in 1835, settled here with her son Cyril Ouviere, and brought the orphaned children of her daughter, Francisca Canfield, to live here. Cyril, a civil engineer, was a resident engineer constructing the Charleston-Hamburg railroad (the world's longest when completed in 1833). In 1834 he helped lay out and survey streets in nearby Aiken.
(Reverse) Pascalina - Elizabeth Pascalis willed this house, once know as Pascalina, to her granddaughter, Thepdosia Wade, and husband John C. Wade, in 1863. The Wades were living here in February of 1865 when Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick used the house as headquarters during the Battle of Aiken. The house remained in the family until 1944. Erected by Aiken County Historical Society— 1987
2-11 Samuel Hammond
North Augusta exit on 1-20, take SC ISO'S for about 3 mi. to Georgia Ave., then for about 0.6 mi.to Buena Vista Ave., then R about 0.6 mi. to Manly Dr., then left about 0.3 mi. to River View Park Activity Center (Front) Samuel Hammond Born 1757 in Virginia, this Indian fighter, who later moved to Edgefield District, attained the rank of lieutenant colonel of state troops during the American Revolution. Among the engagements he participated in were: Hanging Rock, Musgrove's Mill, King's Mountain, Blackstock's, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Siege of Augusta, and Eutaw Springs. Hammond served in the US Congress and after the Louisiana Purchase in
(Reverse) Samuel Hammond 1803, President Thomas Jefferson appointed him colonel-commandant of the St. Louis District. He subsequently was elected to the Missouri Territory Council and became its first president in 1813. Returning to SC in the 1820s, he was elected surveyor general (1826) and secretary of state in 1830. Hammond died in 1842 and was buried nearby; the grave was moved about 1.6 miles north in 1991. Erected by Olde Towne Preservation Association—1992
2-12 St. Thaddeus Church
Pendleton Street, between Richland Ave. and Hayne Ave., Aiken St. Thaddeus Church (Front) This Episcopal Church (cornerstone laid Sept. 5, 1842) was consecrated Aug. 9, 1843. It is the city's oldest church structure, having retained its Greek revival style through subsequent remodeling. Church purchased bell in 1853, Cornish Memorial Chapel completed in 1888, and Mead Hall School opened 1955. William Gregg (1800-1867), an important figure in the textile industry in SC, was one of the church founders. (Reverse) Buried in the churchyard are John H. Cornish, rector of this church 1846-1869; George W. Croft (1846-1904), SC Senator and US Congressman; William P. Finley, Ordinance of Secession signer; James M. Legate (1823-1859), poet, artist, inventor who held several US patents; Henry W. Ravenel (1814-1887), SC botanist whose name is perpetuated in many plants; and John F. Schmidt, a church wardejn in 1843. Erected by The Congregation—1992: (View Marker)
2-13 Site of Ellenton
On NE side of SC 125 at Aiken-Barnwell County line
Post office est. here 1873. Town chartered 1880. Ellenton and surrounding area purchased by US Govt in early 1950s for establishment of Savannah River Plant. Erected by Ellenton Reunion Organization—1993 (View Marker)
2-14 Beech Island Baptist Church
In front of the church, 170 Church Road, Beech Island
Beech Island Baptist Church (Front) This church was organized in the Beech Island Academy on January 21, 1832, with Rev. Iverson Brooks as its first minister and Mathias Ardis and Randolph Bradford as its first deacons. This sanctuary, built on land donated by James T. Gardner and Abner Whatley, with lumber, other materials, and carpenters donated by Dawson Atkinson, was dedicated in September 1832; the Sunday School was organized in 1839. (View Marker)
(Reverse) Charter members of Beech Island Baptist Church were Mathias and Louisa Ardis, Dawson and Marie Atkinson, Randolph Bradford, John and Ann Everett, James T. Gardner, Samuel and Rebecca Gardner, Eliza Gray, James Hankinson, Lida Lamar, Jonathan Miller, Pranmore Owens, John and Harriet Swain, Briton and Adeline Ware, Abner and Elizabeth Whatley, and Edmond Whatley. Erected by the congregation—1996
2-16 AIKEN INSTITUTE
The Aiken Institute, which gave this area the name of Institute Hill," was chartered in 1888. The main building, designed by I.F. Goodrich in 1891, includes a wing added in 1913. All grades attended the Institute until 1937 when a new high school was built and this became Aiken Elementary School. It was the second oldest school in use in the state when it closed in 1986. The 1913 wing became the Aiken County Public Library in 1990. (View Marker)
2-18 Downer Institute & School
US 278 about 2 miles below Beech Island at entrance to Redcliffe Plantation State Park Downer Institute, founded in 1843, was originally located 1.5 mi. NE of this site and operated until 1865. It was named for benefactor Alexander Downer (1752-1820), whose will established an orphanage and school at Beech Island. By 1898 the General Assembly, at the request of Aiken County citizens, reestablished Downer School for the community at large; the school reopened in 1899.
(reverse) Downer Elementary School, successor to the Downer Institute, stood here 1924-1950 and 1952-1986. A one-story school built here in 1924 replaced a two-story school constructed ¼ mile SW in 1899, which burned in 1923~24. It burned in 1950 and was replaced by a second one-story school built in 1952, which served the Beech Island community until Downer Elementary School closed in 1986. (View Marker)
2-19 Schofield School
This school was founded by the Freedmen’s Bureau shortly after the Civil War to educate freedmen, women, and children. In 1868, Martha Schofield, a Quaker from Pennsylvania, came to Aiken and began her long career as superintendent. The school soon expanded to this two-block site and combined academics with instruction in industrial, farming, and homemaking skills. The 1897 Schofield School bulletin declared “Character building is our most important work.”
(reverse) Schofield School educated more than 6000 students by 1898. Many graduates became teachers and department heads here; others became successful business owners, professionals, farmers, and community leaders. In 1940 alumnus Sanford P. Bradby became its first African-American superintendent. As first a private and later a public school, Schofield has taught children of all races and creeds since 1866. The bell tower nearby once stood atop Carter Hall, built in 1882. (View Marker)
2-20 Marie Cromer Seigler House
(on Highway 191 - just off Highway 19 about 8 miles north of Aiken)
This house was for many years the home of Marie Cromer Seigler (1882 - 1964), educator and national pioneer in agricultural instruction. In 1910, as teacher and principal of Talatha School, she founded a Girls' Tomato Club, the first of many such clubs nationwide and a forerunner, along with the Boys' Corn Clubs, of the national 4-H Clubs, supported by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
(reverse) Marie Cromer said of her efforts to encourage girls and young women interested in agriculture, "I made up my mind I was going to do some¬thing for country girls." With the support of Aiken Co. Superintendent of Education Cecil H. Seigler, whom she married in 1912, she established Home Demonstration clubs and created Home Economics courses in Aiken Co. schools. She died here in 1964. (View Marker)
(Laurens St. - downtown Aiken)
Aiken, chartered in 1835 and the county seat of Aiken County since its creation in 1871, was an early stop on the railroad line from Charleston to Hamburg. It was named for William Aiken (1779-1831), the first president of the S.C. Canal and Railroad Co. Aiken's mild climate and accessibility by rail soon made it a health resort for visitors hoping to escape the summer heat or seeking relief from tuberculosis and other lung ailments. (View Marker)
2-26 ORIGINAL SURVEY OF AIKEN
(Newberry St. – downtown Aiken)
The town of Aiken, on land donated by Mr. Beverly M, Rodgers to the S. C. Rail Road in 1834, was laid out around a core of 27 city blocks bounded by Edgefield and Park Aves, and Newberry and Williamsburg Sts. This area was surveyed by civil engineers Cyril Quviere Pascalis (1810-1836?) and Andrew Alfred Dexter (1809-1854), who had also helped survey the route of the new railroad between Hamburg Charleston in 1832-33. (View Marker)
2-27 Savannah River Plant
(at intersection of SC 19 and Hwy 278 near entrance to Savannah River Site)
The Savannah River Plant (SRP) was built 1950-56 by DuPont for the Atomic Energy Commission. SRP, a nuclear production plant, produced tritium and plutonium for national defense during the Cold War. Creating a 310-sq-mi site in three counties meant moving all residents from their homes in Ellenton, dunbarton, Meyers Mill, Leigh, and other area communities.
(reverse) The first reactor at SRP went online in 1953 and the free “neutrino”, a subatomic particle, was first detected at P-Reactor in 1956. SRP also produced medical and research isotopes and energy sources for NASA. In 1972 it became the first National Environmental Research Park. Renamed Savannah River Site (SRS) in 1989, it is owned by the U. S. Dept. of Energy. (View Marker)