Chamber begins centennial year

January 25, 2018

One hundred years have passed since a group of 20 Aiken citizens met at the Highland Park Hotel and formed the Aiken Business League, later to be renamed the Chamber of Commerce. Julian B. Salley was elected president (now Chairman) and Ernest Allen was elected executive secretary (now known as President).


The year was 1918. World War I had started, and Aiken was already 83 years old.


  • The Winter Colony had been enjoying Aiken’s hospitality for 58 years.
  • Polo was going strong with seven area polo fields.
  • The Palmetto Golf Course and The Immanuel Institute were 36 years old.
  • The Augusta Chamber was 20 years old.
  • The Aiken Standard was already turning 50
  • Aiken Regional Medical Center was established one year earlier in 1917.
  • Aiken had acquired its first motorized fire truck 15 years earlier.


The Chamber kicked off the year- long celebration at its 100th Annual Dinner held January 19. The event celebrated 100 years of connecting business to the community to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Aiken.


Mayor Rick Osbon issued a proclamation recognizing the organization’s 100 years of service, leadership and commitment to the Greater Aiken Area.


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