When you think of the Grand Strand you automatically think of the beautiful beaches, the fabulous golfing and, of course Myrtle Beach. But why is this area called the Grand Strand, and how does it relate to this wonderful beach community? To find this out, you have to go back nearly a hundred years.
Near the turn of the 20th century a turpentine company, Burroughs and Collins (now Chapin), purchased extensive amounts of the beach area in Horry county. Shortly after this purchase was made, train tracks were laid out to this area enabling people to reach this once uninhabited area. By 1901 the area was known as Long Bay due to the 60+ miles of pristine beaches and what would later became known as “Myrtle Beach” was simply “New Town”. Later, as the town became more populated The Horry Herald ran a contest to determine what New Town should officially be named. The contest was won by Mrs. F.E. Burroughs, wife of the founder of the turpentine company. She selected the name Myrtle Beach because of the abundant Myrtle trees in the area.
By the 1920â€™s the Long Bay area was becoming quite a popular resort area. Many new resorts were built and golf courses began to enter into the picture. The pristine beaches, fabulous weather and friendly people made the area perfect for vacationing.
In 1949, Claude Dunnagan, a popular columnist for The Myrtle Beach Sun, referred to the area as the â€œGrand Strand,â€ a German term for â€œLong Beach,â€ and the name has stuck ever since.
In 1954 Hurricane Hazel made landfall in Myrtle Beach, leaving much destruction and chaos. However, the local people saw this devastation as a way to make Myrtle Beach an even better resort community. Debris was cleared and new resorts were built. By 1957 Myrtle Beach was incorporated into an official city, and the 1960â€™s saw a building boom that shaped what you now see today.
The Grand Strand officially stretches from Little River, South Carolina to Winyah Bay or Georgetown, South Carolina. Covering over 60 miles of beaches and stretching across two separate counties. Several other communities often attach themselves to the Grand Strand name, but they are not officially recognized as part of the Strand.
Interested in learning more history? Check out these links: