Aiken in Aiken County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest urban forests in the United States, is an area consolidated between 1891 and 1898 by Celestine Eustis (d. 1921), Thomas Hitchcock (1860-1941), and William Whitney (1841-1904). Described as "the greatest equine playground in America," this tract of more than 8,000 acres was used for steeplechases, fox hunts and other equestrian recreation by the wealthy Northerners who belonged to the "Aiken Winter Colony."
(Marker reverse text)
The tract, now comprising almost 2,000 acres, has been owned and managed by the Hitchcock Foundation since 1939, when Thomas Hitchcock and his daughter Helen Clark established the foundation. Landmarks include Memorial Gate; Cathedral Aisle, a portion of the railroad bed built by the S.C. Rail Road in 1833-34; and Sand River, an unusual natural formation. Annual events include the Aiken Horse Show each April and the "Blessing of the Hounds" each November.
Erected 2005 by Aiken County Historical Society. (Marker Number 2-31.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment Natural Resources • Notable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1891.
Location. 33° 33.34′ N, 81° 43.525′ W. Marker is in Aiken, South Carolina, in Aiken County. Marker is on Laurens Street SW near S Boundry Avenue SW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aiken SC 29801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The One Room Schoolhouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Transit Of Venus Observatory Structure, 1882 (about 400 feet away); Frederick Ergle Log Cabin (about 400 feet away); Water Trough and Drinking Fountain (about 400 feet away); Hofmann (about 400 feet away); Aiken County Museum (about 400 feet away); Coker Spring (about 500 feet away); Aiken County Courthouse Bell (about 500 feet away); Whitney Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Highland Park Hotel (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aiken.
Also see . . .
1. Aiken Winter Colony Historic District I. Aiken Winter Colony Historic District I is significant as the area in Aiken most closely associated with the Winter Colony and the horse industry. (Submitted on March 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Fifty Valuable and Delicious Recipes Made with Corn Meal by Célestine Eustis. (Submitted on March 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Thomas Hitchcock. Thomas Hitchcock (November 23, 1860 - September 1941) was one of the leading American polo players during the latter part of the 19th century and a Hall of Fame horse trainer and owner known as the father of American steeplechase horse racing. (Submitted on March 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. William Collins Whitney. William Collins Whitney (July 5, 1841 - February 2, 1904) was an American political leader and financier and founder of the prominent Whitney family. (Submitted on March 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,717 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5. submitted on February 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 6. submitted on March 15, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Pictures of the Memorial Gate, Cathedral Aisle, railroad bed, and Sand River. • Can you help?