A Brief Chronology
of Horry County History

Date Event
10,000 BCEstimated earliest human habitation of the area.
1521 ADSpaniards explored the land called Chicora.
1670 British settle Charles Town. Under the Lords Proprietors, present day Horry County was part of Craven County.
1730 Robert Johnson, royal governor, included Kingston Township on the Waccamaw in a plan to develop the province.
1732 Site of Kingston, now Conway, laid out by Alexander Skene and Chief Justice Robert Wright.
1740Rev. George Whitefield traveled the coast road, Jan. 1-2
1760John Bartram, naturalist, visits and records his discoveries.
1776-83 American Revolution. Engagements at Bear Bluff and Black Lake. Gen. Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” visted the area often and camped at Kingston overnight on his way to the Battle of Black Mingo, Sept.1780.
1785General Assembly authorizes breakup of old Georgetown District which included this area. Kingston County designated as a subdivision of Georgetown District.
1785, 1791, 1795, 1801Bishop Francis Asbury visited Kingston.
1791 George Washington dined at the home of Mr. Cochran in Little River, spent the night of April 17 with "Mr. Vereen" two miles above Singleton Swash and the night of April 18 with George Pawley in southern Horry County near present day Surfside Beach.
1801 Horry District was named for Brig. Gen. Peter Horry [1747-1815] and the village of Kingston was designated the county seat and renamed Conwayborough for Brig. Gen. Robert Conway [c. 1753-1823].
1802First Board of Commissioners [Thomas Livingston, Samuel F. Floyd, Jr., Samuel Foxworth, William Hemingway, William Williams, John Graham, Sr., Thomas Fearwell and Robert Conway] met for the first time, Jan. 3, and authorized a courthouse [on Fifth Avenue] and sale of lots.
1807First post office was established in Conwayborough.
1820Population 5,015. Mills’ Atlas shows 20 schools, 6 meetinghouses.
1824-25Second courthouse [present Conway City Hall], designed by Robert Mills, cost $9,500. The jail, built later, cost $8,000.
1828 Henry Buck of Bucksport, ME, built his home on a bluff on the Waccamaw River and named it Upper Mill Plantation, now on the Historic Register.
1830s Commercial production of naval stores, long an important product in the Horry County area became increasingly more important.
1840Population 5,755. Post offices at Conwayborough, Green Sea, Bayboro, Galivants Ferry, and Bucksport [Port Harrelson].
1855 The village of Conwayborough is incorporated by the S.C. State Legislature.
1856 Capt. Samuel Pope is elected as the first "Intendant" (Mayor) of Conwayboro'
1857 Conwayborough Academy Association built a schoolhouse on Fifth Avenue, replacing an earlier school established in the 1830s.
1860 Population 7,962. SC Ordinance of Secession, Dec. 17, signed by Horry delegates Thomas W. Beaty, William J. Ellis, and Benjamin E. Sessions.
1861-65 Civil War. First newspaper, The Horry Dispatch, established.
1863 Federal Navy captured Ft. Randall on Jan. 5, at Little River Inlet but it was quickly recaptured by Confederates.
1876End of the Reconstruction Era. Marker on oak tree at Fifth and Main St., Conway, commemorates Wade Hampton’s speech during his campaign. F. G. Burroughs took over the schools in Conwayborough. In the next few years he built a new schoolhouse at Main St. and Kingston Lake Drive. The old Academy [built about 1857] became Whittemore Academy for blacks.
1883 General Assembly changes the name of Conwayborough to Conway.
1886Horry Herald began publication. Charleston earthquake felt here, August 31.
1887On Dec. 15, the railroad [built by the Chadbourn family] came to Conway. A station along its route was named Loris.
1890sCommercial tobacco cultivation began. Homewood Colony attracted immigrants from the west. Naval stores declined.
1890Population 19,256 [13,706 white; 5,550 black]. Conway population 677.
1893 Tidal wave hits Horry coast, October 13.
1898 Conway's town charter was renewed after several years of being inactive.. Population 705. Col. C. P. Quattlebaum was elected first intendant [mayor].under renewed town charter.
1899Seashore and Conway Railroad began construction of a line from Conway to the beach. The first tobacco warehouse opened in Conway.
1900 Population, 23,364. First train ran to the beach. New Town on coast was named Myrtle Beach for the native Wax Myrtle shrub.
1902 A new wooden bridge at Gallivant's Ferry is built, replacing an old bridge that had served that area for years. It had one lane with turnouts. Loris incorporated; D. J. Butler, first mayor.
1906 New Burroughs School opened [9th and Main]. A lot for a new courthouse was purchased. The first automobile came to Conway. A new town was established at the western end of the Conway, Coast & Western Railroad and was named Aynor. The name is a derivative of Eykner and comes from the 1790 Jacob Eykner state land grant that eventually became a part of B&C's "Aynor" tract.
1907Paul Quattlebaum’s new company brought electric lights to Conway.
1908Present courthouse [3d and Elm, Beaty and 2d] finished and dedicated May 22, 1908. Construction cost was $24,950.40; contractor, H. P. Little. It has undergone renovations and additions in 1927, 1964, and 1982-83.
1914 Aynor was incorporated.
1917-18World War I.
1919Waccamaw Line of Steamers, established in 1880s,. ceased operation
1920sFirst efforts to establish a tourist industry.
1923Statewide law takes effect Jan. 1, ending free range for stock.
1926In March, Myrtle Beach Farms sold 65,000 acres to Woodside Brothers of Greenville for $850,000, to be paid in six installments through 1932. The venture ended in the Great Depression.
1928 Railroad tracks removed from Main Street, Conway.
1930County population was 39,376, Conway’s was 2,947. The Ocean Forest Hotel opened.
1936 Intracoastal Waterway completed, dedicated at Socastee on April 11.
1937 Waccamaw River Memorial Bridge over the Waccamaw River at Conway opened.
1938Myrtle Beach incorporated; W. L. Harrelson, mayor.
1940Horry Electric Cooperative formed 24 April to bring electricity to rural Horry County.
1941Myrtle Beach Air Force Base established.
1941-45World War II.
1948Ocean Drive Beach was incorporated.
1950Population 59,820. Loris Community Hospital opened May 15.
1953Crescent Beach incorporated.
1954Sun Fun Festival held at Myrtle Beach for the first time. Hurricane Hazel hit Oct. 15. Coastal Carolina was established. County Board of Education became an elected body and the Superintendent of Education an appointive post. Horry County police established.
1958Ocean View Hospital opened in Myrtle Beach
1959Cherry Grove Beach was incorporated.
1960Population 68,247
1964Surfside Beach and Windy Hill Beach were incorporated.
1965Horry-Georgetown-Marion Technical College was established [Marion later dropped out.] Myrtle Beach High School had its first black students.
1966Atlantic Beach was incorporated.
1968Ocean Drive Beach, Crescent Beach, Windy Hill Beach and Cherry Grove Beach consolidated and became North Myrtle Beach.
1970 Population 69,998. School freedom of choice ended; unified system was established. South Carolina celebrated the tricentennial of the founding of Charles Town.
1974Ocean Forest Hotel destroyed on Friday, September 13.
1975Home Rule Act was passed.
1976Briarcliffe Acres was incorporated. First Horry County Council was elected.
1977First Horry County Council was seated. Douglas Wendel, first County Administrator, entered on duty July 1.
1980Population 101,419.
1984Horry County Railroad Line established to continue rail service to Myrtle Beach.
1985 Horry County celebrated 250 years since Kingston Township was opened for settlement.
1989Hurricane Hugo, September 21-22
1990Population 144,053
1993 Myrtle Beach Air Force Base closed in March. Coastal Carolina, independent of the University of South Carolina, became Coastal Carolina University on July 1.
1996 Hurricanes Bertha (July 12) and Fran (September 5)
2009 On April 22, a wildfire starts which over the next few days burns 19,600 acres between Hwy.90 and the Intracoastal Waterway.


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