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“O” is for Ocean Forest Hotel

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  “O” is for Ocean Forest Hotel. In 1930, one of the state's most elegant hotels opened its doors at Myrtle Beach. The Ocean Forest, with its ten story wedding-cake tower and five story wings was a sight to behold. With its pools and gardens, marble stairways, crystal chandeliers, and bathrooms that were piped for both fresh and salt water--the hotel was numbered among the country's world-class resorts. Strict dress codes required that only gentleman wearing tuxedos were allowed to enter the dining room and ladies were expected to wear evening gowns. Later, after World War II, the pre-war formality was relaxed and “resort attire was permitted. In the late 1940s Governor Strom Thurmond was seen playing volleyball in a bathing suit. Gradually, the Ocean Forest Hotel began to decline and, finally, in 1974, the hotel was demolished.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.