Myrtle Beach was once inhabited by Native Americans of the Waccamaw Tribe, and the area was called Long Bay. But among the first European arrivals to the area were the Withers family. After the American Revolution, more pioneers made their way to the remote coastal area, including George Washington, who traveled down the Kings Highway. But it wasn’t until after 1881, when the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway, S.C., purchased much of the property formerly owned by the Withers family, that a stable community began to develop.
The community that grew around the timber transport business Burroughs and Collins was originally called Withers—with the post office being established in “Withers” in 1888. But in the early 1900s, the budding community decided it needed a new name, and a contest was held.
The widow of Franklin Burroughs, Addie, suggested the name Myrtle Beach in reference to the wax myrtle bushes that grew all over town, and the suggestion won. The first Myrtle Beach post office replaced the Withers post office in the early 1900s, though the area wasn’t incorporated into a town until 1938, and a city until 1957.
Today, of course, Myrtle Beach and the surrounding Grand Strand area is one of the biggest tourist draws on the eastern seaboard, drawing nearly five million visitors every year to enjoy sun and sand, entertainment and unique attractions. Some of the biggest draws in Myrtle Beach are our golf courses, our amusement parks and aquarium, theaters, about 2,000 restaurants and shopping.
In 2010, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk opened, adding an additional draw as it was named one of the best U.S. boardwalks by Travel + Leisure magazine and the nation’s number three boardwalk by National Geographic.
Of course, Myrtle Beach is also home to hundreds of hotels, many of them oceanfront resorts that host families for fun and sun year after year!