Have you ever visited Myrtle Beach, SC, for a family vacation? I know I did. There are pictures dating back to the mid-fifties of me and my brother playing in the sand in the Windy Hill area. Then, years later when I was raising my family, we came to Myrtle Beach on a regular basis, usually staying in one of the oceanfront campgrounds that are actually still receiving visitors today, albeit most are in RV’s now instead of tents.You may find more information at Beach wedding.
I have lived here for 20 years now and I have learned some interesting little tidbits of history that I’d like to share with you. First, the origin of the name “Myrtle” Beach. This area is still replete with the beautiful wax myrtle trees that bloom each June or July and stay in bloom most of the summer. Their flowers are beautiful shades of pink, purple and white. The myrtle trees line most medians on our roadways. I have several in my yard. No respectable property here is without some myrtle trees.
Some of you who are golfers may know that Pine Lakes Country Club is the oldest golf course in Myrtle Beach. In the early 1920’s, a group of businessmen began to build a classy getaway (which is now the Pine Lakes Country Club) and the Ocean Forest Hotel.
The golf course was finished in 1927 and today is just as elegant and is a reminder of the good life of bygone days. Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen, well-known names to any golfer, socialized with the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers here. The old Scottish tradition is carried on today. The country club is the place many families still choose for the “coming out” debutante affairs for their daughters, or family weddings.
The Ocean Forest Hotel was THE hotel – very grand with over 300 rooms, crystal chandeliers, a ballroom for dancing the night away, pools – inside and out; and even stables for your horses. It was home to the first radio station WMY13. In short, it was THE PLACE to be if you were in Myrtle Beach. Unfortunately, it was demolished in 1974, to make room for “progress.”
In those days long ago, Myrtle Beach had a weekly newspaper, and telephone operators kept up with everyone and knew everything that was going on! In 1952, the first Miss South Carolina contest was held and none other than our own Mickey Spillane was one of the judges.