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Discover Aiken: Railroad depot key in Aiken’s history

September 23, 2018

A new historical marker tells the story of the Aiken Railroad Depot, which was constructed in the late 1890s, demolished in 1954 and then rebuilt more than 50 years later.

Various efforts aided in the rebuild the Railroad Depot. The grand opening for the reconstructed Railroad Depot was celebrated in 2010.

No trains stop at the Railroad Depot now, but it is the home of the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum.

Southern Railway constructed the Railroad Depot in 1899. According to the historical marker, it was built “largely to service the wealthy travelers who comprised the Aiken Winter Colony, including members of the Vanderbilt, Mellon and Astor families” and it was “designed as a showpiece.”

The marker also states that the Railroad Depot “helped to facilitate Aiken’s position as a popular sporting destination, especially among wealthy northerners in the early 20th century.”

The Aiken Railroad Depot is at 406 Park Ave. S.E.

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