Aiken County Courthouse, photographed by J.A. Palmer, around 1890. The town of Aiken was laid out in 1834, at the western end of the Charleston-Hamburg Railway line, built to carry cotton from the Edgefield District to the port of Charleston in the hope that this would win back to South Carolina the cotton trade that was going to the Augusta, Georgia market. The town did not prosper until the 1840s when William Gregg built a cotton mill and village in the Horse Creek Valley 6 miles north of Aiken. Aiken County was created out of the old Edgefield District in 1871.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.