South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Old Aiken Hospital — Aiken, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Aiken County  |  Old Aiken Hospital

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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 Aiken’s first hospital, 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 tin 1924. It was rebuilt and 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. The future of the building is uncertain.

Old Aiken Hospital Info

Address: Richland Avenue and Vaucluse Road, SC 29801
GPS Coordinates: 33.564960,-81.730184

Old Aiken Hospital Map

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9 Comments about Old Aiken Hospital

HStates says:
August 3rd, 2018 at 3:14 pm

I live in NJ at this time and my sister relocated to Aiken a good 10 years ago. I am looking to retire in Aiken and I worked in a hospital in NJ and was interested in the Aiken Hospital. I came upon this information and it was very interesting to me. Thanks for this information.

benjamin f landrum says:
March 31st, 2017 at 11:01 pm

I was born there on May 14, 1949….I have my birth certificate reflecting that…

Babyblu656 says:
July 24th, 2019 at 4:19 pm

You may obtain this via South Carolina DHEC vital records.

SCIWAY says:
December 5th, 2016 at 10:26 am

You will have to ask the Department of Vital Records: I hope this helps. Best of luck!

William Kirk III says:
December 5th, 2016 at 8:46 am

I was born in The Aiken City Hospital on 4/28/1954. Lost my birth certificate and how can I get a copy ? Thanks

Richard S. Chumley says:
August 22nd, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I was born on August 12, 1950 at Aiken County Hospital. I know that my B/M is probably deceased but I know that I have 3 siblings. Is there any way I can find any information that would help me on my search. I need info for health purposes and I would like to get in touch with them. If anyone can tell me any way that I can get addition info please let me know. Thank you, Richard Chumley

Babyblu656 says:
July 24th, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Check with the newspaper here, Aiken Standard. I am sure they have numerous pictures of this building. Good luck!

SCIWAY 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 Krohn 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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