Last updated: 2/4/2017
Aiken, South Carolina
Street Address
433 Newberry Street, SW
Aiken, SC 29801
Mailing Address
433 Newberry St, SW
Aiken, SC 29801
phone: 803-642-2015
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday2 PM - 5 PM
Closed on Mondays and National Holidays.
There is no charge to visit the Museum. Donations are accepted.
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Brenda Baratto, Executive Director
phone: 803-642-2015
Ashley Oswald, Collections Manager
phone: 803-642-2015
Leah Walker, Site & Events Manager
phone: 803-642-2015

17,500 square feet of amazing Aiken County history in changing exhibits and the following permanent exhibits: The County Room/The “War” Room The Pottery Exhibit The Savannah River Site The Golf Exhibit The Sports Room The Military Exhibit The Winter Colony Room The Hamburg/North Augusta Room The Agriculture Room The Moody Drugstore The Public Safety Room The “Displaced” Exhibit The Circus Room The Nature Room The Musicians of Aiken County The Ladies of Aiken County The Ergle Cabin The China Springs One-Room Schoolhouse


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. The house was sold by Mr. Howe’s daughter in 1951 for $40,000. During the 50s, while the Savannah River Plant was under construction, the 17,500 sq. ft. house was used as a boarding house. It has been used as a college campus on two separate occasions and was once the home of the public library. The Museum moved into the frame section in 1984 and, in 1989, occupied the rest of the building. Banksia has 32 rooms, 15 bathrooms and a ballroom.

Educational Programs

We provide exhibitions, teacher workshops, docent program, tours, lectures, et al.


Lecture Halls

Performance Areas


County entity governed by the Aiken County Historical Commission whose responsibility is the operation of the museum; and is also responsible for preserving and maintaining the premises and the architectural, historical and cultural integrity of Banksia in conjunction with appropriate County authorities.


Access: Scholars, Staff Only, Members

Appointment required: Yes



  • Banksia Columns
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible



    We have some very special store items to choose from as well as those ever popular and delicious “Lumps of Coal” from Abadallah Chocolates Co. and Chocolate Peppermint Bark. And, we have some South Carolina certified raw infused honey from HorseCreek Honey Farms, in the most beautiful bottles. The bottles are one pound and infused with real vanilla bean, bean, chili peppers, cinnamon spice, and lavender. I’ve drizzled the chili-infused over chicken, roasted vegetables and used it in homemade chili. Just that great blend of sweet and heat. I have found a lovely artist who, in looking for ways to use her skills, decided to take her art to a more functional level. I have purchased her hand-crafted tissue boxes and they are both adorable and useful. No more cardboard boxes on my tables! We hope you come in to see what’s new and wonderful in your Museum Gift Store!

    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

    Group Tours

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    Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

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