You may wonder how Myrtle Beach got its name.
The area’s first inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians, who named the region Chicora, meaning “the land.” Kings Highway, a major thoroughfare through the Myrtle Beach area began as an Indian trail long before Europeans settled along the Grand Strand. Later, this trail became the route from the northern states to Charleston and Savannah. These first inhabitants are the subject of the oldest and perhaps most elusive stories. While much has been written about Native Americans, documented facts about local tribes in the Myrtle Beach area are scarce. Physical evidence of their existence and way of life has been more forthcoming, however, as arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts continue to turn up.
Early attempts by European explorers to settle the Grand Strand were disastrous. Spaniard Lucas Vasques de Allyson founded the first colony in North America here in 1526, but the settlement was ravaged by disease, and the inhabitants perished within a year.
English Settlement & Colonial History
.A new chapter in the area’s history and lore was introduced after English colonists settled in the area. Suddenly, goods and supplies needed to be imported and exported across the ocean. By the 1700s, scores of pirates had taken to the high seas to intercept cargo vessels and make off with the goods. The South Carolina coastal waters were especially productive for pirates – and the coves and inlets along the Grand Strand provided great hiding places for these marauders. Pirates who became local legends include Edward Teach called Blackbeard because of his coal-black beard, and Drunken Jack, who was left behind on an island with a huge stash of stolen rum – and was rumored to have died with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, English colonists formed Prince George Parish and laid out plans for Georgetown, the state’s third oldest city, in 1730. Surrounded by rivers and marshlands, Georgetown became the center of America’s colonial rice empire.
Until the 1900s, the beaches of Horry County were virtually uninhabited due to the county’s geographical inaccessibility and poor economy. Near the turn of the century, the Burroughs & Collins Company – a timber/turpentine firm with extensive beachfront holdings – began developing the Myrtle Beach area as a resort. In 1901, the company built the beach’s first hotel, the Seaside Inn. At that time, oceanfront lots sold for $25, and buyers received an extra lot if they built a house valued at $500 or more. Previously known as Long Bay, Withers, or Withers Big Swamp, the fledgling beach community was simply called “New Town” – until the Horry Herald sponsored a contest to officially name the area. Mrs. F.E. Burroughs – wife of the founder of Burroughs & Collins – won with the name “Myrtle Beach,” which she chose for the many wax myrtle trees growing wild along the shore.
Modern History & Development.
The Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which houses the official South Carolina Hall of Fame, opened in 1970. During the 1970s, new construction in the area topped $75 million, and the permanent population tripled. In the 1970s and 1980s, the construction of attractions, homes, retail shops, and other amenities increased steadily, paving the way for another boom in the early 1990s. The Grand Strand currently attracts over 14 million visitors and thousands of new residents to the area, each year. The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.
Thanks to the rapid growth of Myrtle Beach, CBT Linens has done very well in the hospitality industry. Each year we are looking to improve our services to give our customers a better experience. We love seeing the tourists enjoy our great quality linens and look forward to expanding more and more every year to share our services with the world.
One thought on “The Story of Myrtle Beach”
I truly enjoyed this read. I moved to Myrtle Beach 5 years ago and I am very happy here. It was great to read through the article and learn myrtle beaches history. Thank you for the wonderful article