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“P” is for Pawleys Island

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“P” is for Pawleys Island (Georgetown County, 2020 population 111). Situated on the Waccamaw Neck in Georgetown County, Pawleys Island is one of the oldest summer resorts on the east coast. Rice planters and their families summered on the island to escape malaria. By 1858 there were eleven cottages on this four-mile-long, one-quarter-mile wide stretch of sand. In the early twentieth century U.S. Highway 17 brought a steady stream of tourists. The Hammock Shop opened on the highway by 1939. In the 1980s golf communities were developed and many visitors made the island their permanent home. In 1985 the town of Pawleys Island was incorporated. Creek docks, porches, and lookouts define its skyline. A mixed culture of natives and newcomers and of affluence and poverty, Pawleys has strong traditions. Even today, Pawleys Island retains an “arrogantly shabby” uniqueness.

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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.