Join us as we celebrate the 62nd Birthday of the Aiken County Famers Market on Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 from 10:00 am-12:00pm! With a gigantic birthday cake, it will be a special birthday celebration at the Aiken County Farmers Market. The festivities are not in honor of a person, but rather the market itself.
Let’s look at the rich history of the market we’re celebrating: Williamsburg Street between Park and Richland Avenues was the site of the Aiken Cotton Platform and Scale. At the busy market, they sold cotton, produce and homemade goods. On Saturdays, beginning in the late 1920’s, farmers, also, sold produce from a shed behind the Public Works building on Newberry Street. Farmers’ wives, who were part of the Aiken County Council of Farm Women, organized the Club Market, Sept. 4, 1930. The ladies sold flowers and bulbs to finance beautification projects in Aiken. Often they had homemade baked goods that were sold for “pin money”. The goods for sale were propped on bales of cotton at the Williamsburg location or on wooden tables at the Newberry location.
By 1951 both venues were struggling to stay open. The family farmer was unable to compete with large commercial cotton growers. So the markets decided to combine forces. The Farmers’ Grange with county chain gang labor erected the current structure located in the parkway. By 1954 the farmers and their families built the 45 tables, which are still used today selling homegrown produce, flowers and homemade goods.
In 1980, plans were made to sell the property for commercial development. Thanks to the efforts of Rosamond McDuffie and the Aiken Historic Preservation Commission, the Market was rescued. In 2003 the Aiken County Farmers Market was designated a Landmark in Aiken. It is the oldest (in continuous operation at the same location) county farmers’ market in the State of South Carolina.
The Aiken County Farmers Market is located at 115 Williamsburg Street in the heart of Aiken’s downtown district, and it operates as the oldest (in continuous operation at the same location) county farmers market in the State of South Carolina. Here you’ll find tables filled with produce, organic meats and cheeses, local goods, and farmers willing to share stories with passersby. Our market is open Tuesday, Thursday from 8am- 1pm, and Saturday from Daylight-12:00 p.m. (or until the farmers sell out) with Saturdays providing the highest concentration of products and farmers.