Welcome to Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch

The Friends of Hopelands and Rye Patch Inc. is a private nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization
that works in partnership with the City of Aiken, South Carolina, to restore, preserve, maintain,
and develop these properties for the benefit of Aiken residents and visitors.

The 49th Annual Concert Series

Join us in beautiful Hopelands Gardens on Monday evenings for live shows by local performers.
The series will kick off on April 3rd, 2023, at 6:30 PM and continue through June 26th, 2023.

Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch:
The Friends’ Story

Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch: The Friends’ Story is a historical narrative of Hopelands Gardens, Rye Patch, the families who owned them and the Friends’ group which supports them. Enjoy lovely black and white photographs as well as those in color which document the numerous changes in these properties. Learn about the 50-year collaboration between the Friends and the City of Aiken as they continue to develop and enhance these historic 24 acres located in the heart of our City.

Book Available at: 
• Aiken Antiques & Uniques
• Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum
• Cold Creek Nurseries
• Folly 
• 3 Monkeys Fine Gifts 
• Nandina Home and Design 
• York Cottage Antiques
• Security Federal (1705 Whiskey Road).

Hope Iselin

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to be the President of the Friends of Hopelands and Rye Patch. I know these 24 acres very well because I live two blocks from them. I frequently slip over early in the morning to walk the grounds with my favorite companion, an Irish terrier named Lizzie. We are usually the only walkers as we meander along the walkways to watch turtles swim and a Great blue heron quietly stalk the lake edges.

I am grateful for the Iselin and Rogers families. They and their friends from the north (later known as Winter Colony residents) discovered the temperate weather (perfect for their horses) and southern hospitality of Aiken decades and decades ago. Visiting Rye Patch, Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum, the Dollhouse and more allow us a glimpse into their lives.

This is nature and history at its best. Please come and explore. Seek out serenity and calm within the beautiful serpentine walls. Read through this website and become a Friend of Hopelands and Rye Patch, so we may continue to make the beauty and wonder of nature available to all people of all ages, which was the heart of Hope Goddard Iselin’s gift to the City.

Dr. Holly Woltz
President, the Friends of Hopelands and Rye Patch