Horry County

A historic look at Horry County brought to you by the Historic Preservation Commission

Historic Horry County

Welcome to Horry County, land of the fiercely proud historic Independent Republic of Horry, a county of dual personality where a primarily agrarian land co-exists with the glitz of the internationally famous vacation mecca of Myrtle Beach.

  • Horry County, the largest of the state's 46 counties, boasts a history of human habitation for thousands of years. These include Chicora Indian sites, a Spanish settlement in 1526, and British settlers in the 1600s.
  • Historic events include: Revolutionary battles, a 1791 visit from President George Washington, a Civil War battle at Fort Randall, and an overseas embarkation from the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base during World War II.
  • Population in 1820 was recorded at 5,025 - and today approximately 238,493 (2006) reside within the county.
  • Early industries included lumbering, turpentine production, the building of ships, and tobacco farming.
  • Tourism to the area began in the early 1900s. By the late 1950s, tourism boomed. Presently the county hosts over 12 million visitors a year.
  • Horry County boasts some unusual geographic features. The Waccamaw River, a major link of the north-south Intracoastal Waterway, has played a unique role in the Horry County history. Several coastal swashes dot the coastline. Carolina Bays attract naturalists from around the world.
  • In addition to historic sites, Horry County offers endless seashore activities. Beckoning attractions entice both locals and visitors: themed entertainment facilities; amusement parks such as the new Hard Rock Park (opening in 2008); campgrounds; and, golf courses, including "The Granddaddy - the historic Pine Lakes International Country Club.
  • Other sites of interest are the Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens, the Playcard Environmental Educational Center with its logging, early farming, Indian culture exhibits and annual Swamp Fest, and the African-American Freewood Farms.
  • Cultural attractions are at home here with art and history museums. Many South Carolinians who have impacted world history are honored at the South Carolina Hall of Fame located in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
  • Coastal Carolina University, Webster University, Horry-Georgetown Technical College and North American Institute of Aviation offer higher educational opportunities. First-class libraries offer research facilities.
  • Conway, the county seat, is named for Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Robert Conway.
  • Horry (pronounced Oh-ree) County is named for another Revolutionary hero, Brigadier General Peter Horry.
  • May the historic ambience of Horry County enrich your life as you pass this way or as you stay.
PDF   Driving Tour Map    JPG   Driving Tour Map
* The homes featured on driving tour maps are privately owned and should be viewed from public sidewalks.

Bucks Mill Chimney

Bucks Mill Chimney

This brick chimney is the remains of a sawmill at the Upper Mill, Bucksville Community, near the Henry Buck home build in 1828. The famous seagoing schooner "Henrietta", built in 1875 at the Middle Mill, Bucksville, by the W.L. Buck & Co., was floated down the river to the sea. The schooner was lost in a typhoon off the coast of Japan in 1894. The Lower Mill, a thriving vibrant center of commerce and trade in Horry County along the Waccamaw River during the late 1800s, became Bucksport. The Bucks had come south from Maine.

Located at Bucksport Community, 3 miles from Highway 701, on Old Bucksville Road, beside the Waccamaw River, where, at low tide, ballast stones and pilings can be seen. (Buck's Upper Mill Farm – National Register of Historic Places)

Conway City Hall

Conway City Hall

Conway City Hall (c.1825) with its graceful arches and Doric columns was designed by Robert Mills, the renowned architect of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. Originally built as the first Horry County Courthouse, it was sold to the City of Conway in 1908 for the sum of $4,000. This durable building, with 30-inch thick walls, has served local government for over 150 years. The upstairs courthouse underwent a major restoration in the 1990s, and is open to the public during business hours.

A small park adjacent to City Hall is home to "The Horse Trough," a fountain purchased from the City of Charleston in 1916. It is the centerpiece of a small garden planted with shrubs and seasonal flowers. Both City Hall and the park are located on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue in historic downtown Conway. (Old Horry County Court House – National Register of Historic Places)


The Courthouse

Horry County built its second courthouse on the Third Avenue between Elm and Beaty Streets in 1908. Wings were added in the 1950s. L.W. Brown, Clerk of Court from 1909 to 1927, planted many of the oak trees on the grounds. Later, the Garden Club of South Carolina planted more oaks, magnolias, boxwoods and azaleas, making a picturesque setting for the multi-columned brick structure. (Conway Downtown – Historic District National Register of Historic Places)

Hammonds-Edmunds House

Hammonds-Edmunds House

North of SC Highway 9 on US Highway 76 is the Hammonds-Edmunds House. Built in 1868, the home is unique. The first and second story porches are inset from the roof and the porch columns. The second-story porch is suspended from cables.

Ebenezer Church

Ebebezer Church

Since 1903, the Ebenezer United Methodist Church has been holding Sunday services. The simple T-shaped structure is distinguished by it's clean lines enhanced by an octagonal shingled, clapboard, slatted and latticed steeple that rises from a half octagon portico. The church is located one-half mile south of Highway 9 on the east side of Highway 905.

GrandDaddy - Pine Lakes

The Grand Daddy (Pine-Lakes)

Originally the Ocean Forest Country Club, Pine Lakes International Country Club was built in 1927 by Robert White, first president of the Professional Golf Association of America, it features Scottish heritage and tradition (Sports Illustrated Magazine" was born here in 1954. Pine Lakes was the first golf course in Myrtle Beach, The Grand Strand area now boasts more than 100 exceptional courses.

Located in Myrtle Beach off US 17 and Woodside Avenue. (Ocean Forest Country Club - National Register of Historic Places)

Holliday Brothers Farms

Holliday Brothers Farms

Everyone passing over the Little Pee Dee River on US Highway 501 to Myrtle Beach has passed the Holliday Brothers Farms in Galivants Ferry. The main barn built in 1928, has a gambrel roof effect with three dormers on the east and west sides of the structure. The original lightning rod system along the roof ridge is still intact. In 1970, the state highway department moved the location of US Highway 501 rather than cut 28 feet off the barn.

Also located on the site are the grist mill, potato and fertilizer house, nine tenant farmer houses, and four other barns of various sizes and uses. Political candidates have been coming to Galivants Ferry to "stump" ever since 1876, when General Wade Hampton stopped there on his campaign trail for Governor. Every two years, the SC Democratic Party meets, eats and "politicks." Candidates for all offices, from the local to the presidency, come to get close to the voters. It is a tradition kept alive at this historic site which was recognized in 2000 by the Library of Congress as a "Local Legacy." (Galivants Ferry - Historic District National Register of Historic Places)

Eight Gables

House of Eight Gables

Horry County's own "House of Eight Gables". The homestead was built around 1890 by Quincy Graham. Unusual features include two gables with exceptional horizontal one-piece beam architraves. Victorian in design, each of six downstairs rooms has a fireplace with its own distinctly designed mantles.

Located near Finklea and Bayboro area on the east side of Highway 792, one mile north of Highway 917.



Located at the intersection of Highways 23 and 99 at Ketchuptown is the Small Homestead. Small's Mercantile, with its extended gabled roof and sawtooth awning was built by the Small family in 1927, and was operated continuously by the family for 40 years.

Robert Livingston

Robert Livingston House

Constructed Circa 1848 – 4441 Lakeside Drive – The Robert Livingston House was built circa 1848. It was moved in 1973 to its current location on Lakeside Drive. This house is one of two identical houses constructed in Southport, North Carolina by the same builder. It is distinguished by a steeply pitched roof with an elaborate sunburst pattern tucked under the gable. Gingerbread shakes cover the second story walls, with the lower floor being of wood clapboard siding. In the 1880's Robert Livingston was the Postmaster and census enumerator for Little River.

McCorsley House

McCorsley House

The McCorsley House, built in 1910, was moved from its original site in 1979 to its current location on the corner of Luck and Mulberry Streets in Little River. It is now The Brentwood, a restaurant that capitalizes on the elegant proportions of the house. The two-story house exhibits many characteristics of the Queen Anne style, features a wrap-around porch distinguished by oar-shaped beams, hipped roof, gables and corbelled chimneys. There are three-sided bays at the front and east sides of the building.

TB Cooper Store

T.B. Cooper Store

This general store was yester-year's answer to one-stop shopping. This Socastee store served as a community hub in the early 1900s for a wide geographical area between Myrtle Beach and Conway. A main feature of the shotgun-style building was the Myrtle Beach-Socastee post office with a wire cage. Local citizens collected mail; purchased basic mercantile needs; met to exchange local news, gossip, political views and socialize. Nearby was Peachtree Landing, whose ferry transported people from the east side of Horry County to the west and back again across the Waccamaw River. The store was built in 1905 by Thomas B. Cooper and closed around 1930. The first free school was established in a field across from the store on the other side of today's SC Highway 616. A cotton gin and grist mill were also operated across the street.

Located at Peachtree and Dick Pond Roads at Socastee on SC 616 west of the swing bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway.( Socastee Historic District - National Register of Historic Places)

Vereen Gardens

Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens

The Gardens once owned by the Jackson Vereen Family, are part of the Horry County Parks and Recreation system. Indicative of the natural beauty found in Horry County, the Gardens consist of over 100 acres, flowing east from Hwy. 179 (Calabash Road) to the Intracoastal Waterway.

Wildlife abounds within the gardens. Visitors can savor "mother nature" as they walk along nature trails or on the boardwalk that spans the marsh, connecting an island to the mainland. From stately pines to salt water marsh grasses, numerous types of trees and plants can be found, many of which are rare and unique to the "Carolina Bays" of the coast. Within the Gardens are the Vereen Family Cemetery, featuring Revolutionary War graves, and remnants of the Old Kings Highway, an unpaved road traveled by President George Washington during his 1791 tour.

Located off US High 17 to the north of Little River, the Gardens are on Highway 179, near the North Carolina and South Carolina state line.

Waccamaw River

Waccamaw River

Scenic, historic Waccamaw River flows across Horry County from its northern boundary of North Carolina to its southern boundary at Georgetown County where it empties at the end of its 140 miles journey. Stately live oak trees draped with Spanish moss border the banks of the black water that has served Horry citizens from beginning days of Native American settlements, Revolutionary battles, Civil War skirmishes and African-American communities to the present.

Pre-Civil War rice plantations flourished along its southernmost shores. It was the aorta of the transportation lifeline of initial commerce, indispensable to the rice fields, turpentine and logging industries. Boat traffic made its way up and down the Waccamaw, with ferries connecting the east and west sides of the county.

Today the Waccamaw is an integral link of the Intracoastal Waterway that winds its way from Maine to Florida. Through the centuries, the river has been a means of the county's livelihood and pleasure, including boating activities, cruises, fishing, hunting, while providing a home for bountiful wildlife, waterfowl and fish. The dark waters of the Waccamaw guard centuries of activity and intrigue.