The area's first inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians, who named the region Chicora, meaning "the land." Kings Highway -
Early attempts by European explorers to settle the Grand Strand were disastrous. Spaniard Lucas Vasques de Allyon founded the first colony in North America here in 1526, but the settlement was ravaged by disease, and the inhabitants perished within a year.
A new chapter in the area's history and lore was introduced after English colonists settled in the area. Suddenly, goods and supplies needed to be imported and exported across the ocean. By the 1700s, scores of pirates had taken to the high seas to intercept cargo vessels and make off with the goods. The South Carolina coastal waters were especially productive for pirates -
Until the 1900s, the beaches of Horry County were virtually uninhabited due to the county's geographical inaccessibility and poor economy. Near the turn of the century, the Burroughs & Collins Company -
Further Development & Expansion.
In the 1920s, a group of businessmen began building an upscale resort called Arcady, at the north end of the community. Arcady featured the present Pine Lakes International Country Club -
Hurricane Hazel & Reconstruction.
In 1954, Hurricane Hazel demolished buildings and trees along the Grand Strand, clearing the way for new hotels and homes. During the rebuilding phase of the 1960s, a golf boom began, with new courses being built each year. The number of golf courses along the Grand Strand now totals around 115.
Modern History & Development.
The Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which houses the official South Carolina Hall of Fame, opened in 1970. During the 1970s, new construction in the area topped $75 million, and the permanent population tripled. In the 1970s and 1980s, construction of attractions, homes, retail shops and other amenities increased steadily, paving the way for another boom in the early 1990s. The Grand Strand currently attracts millions of visitors and thousands of new residents to the area each year. The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the thirteenth-