Aiken County has reinvented itself many times during its more than 300 years of history. From the earliest farming settlements at Silver Bluff, the coming of the railroad, the establishment of the Winter Colony and the equine industry, the building of the Savannah River Site and the more recent development as a retirement area, and location of a highly-rated campus of the University of South Carolina, county residents have seized opportunities to explore new paths.
The Historical Museum is the place to experience the many facets of the county. Located in an historic building in the heart of the Winter Colony district, the Museum provides an insight into the county for adults and children by offering rotating exhibits, educational tours, and children’s exhibits.
Banksia is named for the Banksia rose and is actually two houses joined together on a 3.5 acre lot. The older section is wood and dates from 1840. The large brick section was built in 1931. While the rest of the country was reeling from the Depression, Richard Howe of New York paid $85,000 to build Banksia, which was designed by Willis Irvin. Mr. Howe was 61 years old at the time. Formerly a vice president of International Harvester, Mr. Howe was married into the Deering family. An avid horseman, Mr. Howe used Banksia as his winter home. Look for his initials above the door.