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“N” is for North Myrtle Beach

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“N” is for North Myrtle Beach (Horry County; 2020 population 16,604). North Myrtle Beach anchors the northern end of South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Until the 1920s the area was used primarily by locals for recreation. With the automobile came paved roads and bridges that linked Horry County to the rest of South Carolina. By the 1940s communities were evolving along the north strand. After Hurricane Hazel (1954), many homes and businesses vanished or made inhabitable. Owners sold their property at bargain prices resulting in large parcels available for hotels and other commercial enterprises. In 1968 Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive Beach, Crescent Beach, and Windy Hill consolidated into North Myrtle Beach. Atlantic Beach declined the invitation to join. In the 1970s multistory condominiums and hotels began replacing single-family housing as North Myrtle Beach became a tourist mecca.

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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.