The Grand Strand hasn’t always been the vacation destination that it is today. Horry County, current home of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, which was bounded by rivers on one side and the ocean on the other, was cut off from the plantation culture of thriving Georgetown County, which was already a major port in the 1700’s. The people of Horry County were hard-working farmers, timber-men, and turpentine distillers. Through their labors and reliance on the available natural resources, they developed the county into the “Independent Republic of Horry”. By the 1900’s, riverboats were transporting people and supplies along the Waccamaw River between Conway and Georgetown.
The Burroughs and Collins Company constructed a railroad in 1900 that connected the Waccamaw River to the ocean. The construction of the Seaside Inn in 1901 – the first area hotel on the coast – helped finally to lure visitors to the beauty of the beaches. The community was called New Town until it was renamed Myrtle Beach for the many wax myrtle trees growing wild along the shore by the wife of F.E. Burroughs, founder of Burroughs and Collins Company. Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938, and 19 years later became a city. After suffering severe damage from Hurricane Hazel in 1954, the city was rebuilt during the 1960’s and quickly became the popular resort community we know today.