Historical markers of Horry County

Story by Lois Carol Wheatley

It's great that historical markers come in tablet form. Somehow that makes them bite-size tidbits of local culture, easy to swallow and readily digestible.

Horry County has not quite so many markers as Georgetown County, and they range through the usual topics from schools and churches to landmarks and founding fathers. What's really important to remember is that someone, or a group of people, deemed this information important enough to post it prominently on a street corner. They're not pushing an agenda, running for office or selling anything. They just want us to know, and they've gone to some trouble and expense.

The least we can do is sample the offerings, savor their taste and texture. It's easily as important as all the shopping, dining, entertainment and attractions that Myrtle Beach has to offer - and at least in one case there's a marker that is actually part of the diversion.

Atlantic Beach. Front: "Atlantic Beach, nicknamed 'The Black Pearl,' was established about 1934 as an oceanfront community for blacks denied access to other area beaches by segregation. Many became year-round residents, but most spent their vacations here. From the 1930s to the 1970s 'The Black Pearl' was one of the most popular beach resorts on the East Coast for blacks from Va. to Fla. Its hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, shops and pavilion were packed every May to September."

Reverse: "George Tyson was the first to develop this area, from 1934 to 1943. In 1943 the Atlantic Beach Co. - J.W. Seabrook, R.K. Gordon and P.C. Kelly III - bought the tracts and continued to develop them. As other area beaches began desegregating in the 1970s the beach saw fewer visitors. The town of Atlantic Beach, chartered in 1966 with Emery Gore and Millard Rucker as its first two mayors, is one of a few black-owned and governed oceanfront communities in the United States."

Erected in 2005 by Atlantic Beach Historical Society at the intersection of 30th Avenue South and South 3rd Street.

Benjamin Grier Collins. Front: "1845-1929. A pioneer who devoted his life to the religious and social welfare of his town and country. A benefactor to rich and poor who gave wholeheartedly of his time and talents to the enrichment of his fellow man. A staunch Christian gentleman, whose lofty ideals were an inspiration to those who knew him, and whose works are a monument to a life of service. Truly one of God's noblemen."

Reverse: "Collins Memorial Park, 1930. This park was given by the children and grandchildren of Benjamin Grier Collins to the town of Conway for the recreational use of the people of this community."

Erected in 1930 at Main Street (Business U.S. 701) near 16th Avenue and Collins Park Road in Conway.

Boundary House. "During the colonial era the Boundary House, on the SC-NC line 1.3 mi. SE, was both a private residence and 'public house.' In 1775 Isaac Marion (d. 1781), eldest brother of future partisan leader Gen. Francis Marion, lived there. On May 9, 1775, when Isaac Marion received news of the Battle of Lexington, Mass., he forwarded the dispatch to the Committee of Safety in Little River."

Erected in 2005 by Horry County at the intersection of US 17 and Graystone Blvd. (SC Route 179) in Little River.

Centennial Time Capsule. "December 9, 2003. A time capsule filled with historical documents and artifacts from the era are placed here. To be opened December 9, 2103."

Erected in 2003 by the Horry County Government at 2nd Avenue and Beaty Street in Conway.

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Terms: Horry History

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