AIKEN ESTATES HISTORY
The following early history of Aiken Estates is from the Aiken Standard newspaper from April 20, 1953:
Aiken Estates was founded by the Gordy Organization of Wilmington, Delaware, headed by Mr. E.S. Gordy, founder and president of Gordy Homes Incorporated. In January of 1951, Mr. Gordy, accompanied by representatives of W.G. Lyles, Bisseti Carlisle and Wolff, architects and engineers of Columbia and Eugene R. Martini, nationally recognized landscape architect and site planning engineer of Atlanta, Georgia, selected this segment of Hitchcock Woods because of its native charm and beauty. Great care was taken in planning the location of streets to preserve the tall, stately pines whose beauty is so much a part of this particular section of South Carolina, and the natural shrubbery for which Hitchcock Woods is so well known.
In the completed site planning of Aiken Estates, Mr. Martini developed slightly over three miles of winding streets, faced by two hundred building sites, plus a reserved area for a shopping center. The living area of Aiken Estates has been divided into fourteen streets, all of which will be hard surfaced with concrete curbing. Water is supplied from the City of Aiken and five hydrants have been installed in conformity with Fire Underwriters’ requirements. Through the cooperation of the SCE and G Co. arrangements were made for all poles carrying overhead wiring to be located in the rear of homes, thus preserving the attractiveness of the overall community.
The selection of names for the various streets was accomplished through the cooperation of former State Rep. John May and several of his associates who are familiar with the history of Aiken. In naming the streets, they used the names of persons whose lives have been closely linked with the growth of Aiken. Mr. May is preparing a memorandum for the home owners in Aiken Estates, detailing the biographies of the individuals whose names were used for the various streets.
The first section of Aiken Estates is nearing completion. It consists of Hitchcock Drive, Clark Road, Legare Road and the shopping area. The major portion of houses in this area are custom built and were constructed by the Gordy Organization.
The nearby shopping area is known as the Mitchell Shopping Center, whose president, J. Howard Mitchell, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has had experience in organizing, building and operating commercial centers. It is anticipated that the Mitchell Center will have in excess of twenty stores and a minimum of five hundred parking spaces. All of the stores will face Whiskey Road and will be of the general design of the units now occupied by the Colonial Store, United Five and Dime, The Junior Shop, New York Cleaners, and Thrifty Drug Company. Mr. Mitchell believes the shopping center project will be completed in its entirety in about one year. It unquestionably will be one of the outstanding centers in the Savannah River area.
Two churches have located within the boundaries of Aiken Estates. The first one to have been established is the Aiken Christian Church whose pastor is the Rev. L.E. Crouch. The church is located on the northwest corner of Silver Bluff Road and Kerr Drive. The second church is to be established in the community is the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which will be erected at the corner of Hitchcock Drive and Whiskey Road. The Rev. Paul Hinrichs has been appointed pastor of the church and will be in charge of its development. Construction will begin within the very near future.
In opening the second section of Aiken Estates, the Gordy Organization has arranged for home sites to be purchased for future construction by builders of the purchasers’ choice, subject to restrictions already imposed. All completed streets have been dedicated to Aiken County. Prior to the dedication, numerous native shrubs and trees were planted along the center Aisle of Hitchcock Drive and surrounding the commercial center.
The present residents of Aiken Estates, approximately fifty families, have organized a Home Owners Civic Organization to further the social activities of the community and to enter into other phases of civic endeavor. Its president and vice-president are respectively, H.A. Hansen and L.P. Robertson.