"What's in a name...?" Our Honorary Namesakes
Ever wonder what the namesake is for a Myrtle Beach road, building or park? Most namesakes honor or memorialize community members for their civic involvement. Other namesakes stem from Myrtle Beach’s military history or natural formations. The city’s collection of namesakes tells the story of our people, growth and progression.
Earlier names for Myrtle Beach included Long Bay, Withers and New Town. The area was called Long Bay when a hurricane swept through in 1822. It was later known as Withers (hence Withers Swash) for the Withers family, which had owned property in the area since the late 1700s. A Withers post office even opened in 1888. The Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway purchased much of the Withers’ family land in 1881, and the growing community was called New Town at the turn of the century. (Conway was “old town.”) In 1900, a contest was held to give New Town an official name, and Addie Burroughs, widow of Franklin G. Burroughs, suggested “Myrtle Beach” because of the wax myrtle bushes growing abundantly. The second-place suggestion was “Edgewater.” The Withers post office was replaced by the first Myrtle Beach post office in the early 1910s. By the way, no other incorporated cities or towns exist with the name “Myrtle Beach.” There are towns called Myrtle, Myrtle Grove and Myrtle Island, but no other Myrtle Beach exists!
The Grand Strand was coined in 1949 by Claude Dunnagan as the title for a newspaper column about area happenings. The name stuck for the whole region.
BUILDINGS & FACILITIES
Ashley Booth Field is named for Ashley Booth, a longtime youth coach and youth sports official for the city’s recreation department. Ashley Booth became even more well known for “Ashley’s Booth” concession stand! Since the booth itself no longer exists, the new youth football field was named “Ashley Booth Field” in his honor. Coach Booth’s sons participated in the city’s recreation programs as children. And, like their father, the sons have served the city as coaches and officials, too.
You’ll find the Buddy Rogers Memorial Wall located within the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, 2115 Sports Center Way. Myrtle Beach officials unveiled the memorial wall in 2015, honoring the late Buddy Rogers, an outstanding teacher and coach at Myrtle Beach High School. Coach Rogers’ promoted character, integrity and sportsmanship. Coach Rogers' basketball and tennis teams were known state-wide for their outstanding sportsmanship and winning records. He also served as assistant football coach. During his career, the Seahawks' boys and girls tennis teams won a total of 14 state championships. The boys basketball team won the state AAA championship in 2005 with a 30-1 record. Coach Rogers passed away on September 24, 2005, but his legacy lives on with the new memorial at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center. On another wall of the main court area, you’ll see the Buddy L.I.S.T. It stands for Leadership, Integrity, Sportsmanship and Teamwork. The Sports Center hosts thousands of athletes each year in tournament competition, and the Buddy Rogers Memorial Wall sets the tone for good sportsmanship, both on and off the court.
Chapin Memorial Library, 400 14th Avenue North, is the only city-owned library in South Carolina. The public library opened in 1939 at a location on North Kings Highway with 501 books. During World War II, the library relocated to the Chapin Company building as part of the government recreation program for soldiers. In August 1948, the Chapin Foundation provided $40,000 for a library on city park land and an additional $2,000 for landscaping. Chapin Memorial Library opened on June 1, 1949, on the corner of Kings Highway and 14th Avenue North. The facility has been expanded four times.
Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium is named for the late Clement Gurley Crabtree, a longtime recreation director at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Born in 1918, Crabtree attended Wake Forest University (then college) and played professional football for Detroit in the NFL during the 1940 and 1941 seasons.
Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, home of the Myrtle Beach Seahawks, was re-named for long-time Myrtle Beach High School football coach Doug Shaw, who died suddenly November 11, 1994, at age 52. The football stadium was built in 1968 on city-owned land behind Pepper Geddings Recreation Center and given to the city. A $200,000 community fund-raising effort for the new stadium was prompted by a bleacher collapse at the high school field then in use near Oak Street and 12th Avenue North. Originally, the new football field was simply named Memorial Stadium, but on September 12, 1995, City Council approved a resolution renaming the facility in Doug Shaw's memory. Shaw had been Myrtle Beach's head football coach for 25 years and an assistant coach the two previous years. His football teams had a record of 223 wins, 77 losses and two ties. They won four state championships and 16 conference titles and competed in the playoffs 23 of his 25 years. As one of South Carolina's greatest and most loved coaches, his death was front-page news across the state. Today, Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium is jointly owned by Myrtle Beach and the Horry County school district.
General Robert H. Reed Recreation Center (formerly Base Recreation Center) was renamed in 2018 in memory of General Robert H. Reed. Reed was the city’s appointee to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority upon its inception and was instrumental in the base’s transformation into the Market Common district. He worked tirelessly to preserve and maintain the history of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (U.S. Air Force closed the base in 1993) and its personnel, both military and civilian, through various projects, including: Valor Memorial Garden, Warbird Park and more than 160 historical markers. The four-star Air Force general made Myrtle Beach his home when he retired after 36 years of service.
The Jake Abraham Transfer Station, the City of Myrtle Beach's solid waste and recycling facility, is named in memory of a long-time city employee. Jake Abraham worked as a solid waste collection operator from January 1947 until his retirement in 1980, completing 33 years of dedicated service to the residents of Myrtle Beach. Known as “Mr. Jake,” he was a great role model for the community. Mr. Abraham died in 2011 at age 91.
James C. Benton Miracle League Field, 690 33rdAvenue North, serves as the host of the Grand Strand Miracle Leagues’ events. Founded in 2001, Grand Strand Miracle Leagues is an organization fueled by generous and passionate community support. The ADA approved, adapted baseball field was constructed featuring a rubberized field surface that suits wheelchairs and walkers. The field is named for the late James Carson Benton, the former Board of Directors’ Chair of the Grand Strand Miracle Leagues organization. He was a Myrtle Beach High School graduate and served in the United States Navy. Benton graciously donated his time and funds to many charitable causes in the Myrtle Beach community and was well-known as a caring neighbor and successful businessman.
The Myrtle Beach Colored School served African-American students in the Myrtle Beach area for more than 20 years. Now, a new Historic Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum and Education Center provides a window on that past, as well as a door to the future for all. Thanks to leadership from the City of Myrtle Beach, vision from former students and a partnership among public and private entities, the old school has been preserved in spirit and recreated in fact and continues to fulfill an educational mission. The original four-room, wood-framed Myrtle Beach Colored School opened in 1932 as a product of segregated times. Previously, African-American students were educated in local churches, since they could not attend the official “white” schools. Having a school to call their own was a great advancement and source of pride, and the Myrtle Beach Colored School fulfilled a vital role in the African-American community during that period of transition and growth. The need for the Myrtle Beach Colored School was eliminated in 1953 with the opening of Carver Training School. No longer in use, the old schoolhouse served as a warehouse for a while, but eventually languished in the heart of the neighborhoods that it once served and fostered. In 2001, City Council appointed former students, community representatives and other interested parties to a newly created committee charged with the task of saving the school. Unfortunately, as everyone discovered when the old school was surveyed, the building itself could not be saved. With the site of the old school about to be halved by the new road, Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc., offered to donate a site nearby, less than two blocks away, where a new “old” school could be rebuilt. This land donation, along with City Council’s pledge of construction money, gave the former students hope that their dream might be realized. The former students were adamant about retaining the school’s original name. To them, it had always been the Myrtle Beach Colored School, and they were unconcerned with whether that name might be uncomfortable or politically incorrect. Segregation was wrong, but it happened, and changing the name now was an unthinkable act of revisionist history. The modern-day Historic Myrtle Beach Colored School and Education Center opened its doors in 2006 and continues to serve the community as a museum and education center.
The Mary C. Canty Recreation Center (formerly Canal Street Recreation Center) was renamed in 2015 in recognition of Ms. Canty’s many contributions and achievements during a lifetime of service. The name memorializes the beloved woman who shaped our city through her civic involvement. The late Mary C. Canty emphasized the importance of youth advocacy. Ms. Canty was instrumental in choosing the Canal Street location, and the facility she helped conceive provides an outlet for recreational activities and civic involvement. Ms. Canty passed away in January 2015 at age 81.
The Ned Donkle Field Complex is affectionately named for Mr. Ned Donkle, who served as a devoted baseball and football coach for the city’s recreation department in the 1970s. He was a member of the Beachcomber Shriners, a major sponsor of the Myrtle Beach’s youth sports programs at the time. Coach Donkle was an extraordinary mentor to many young people. He treated every team member as “one of his own,” and left a lasting imprint in the memories of countless young people in the community with his energy and words of encouragement.
Pepper Geddings Recreation Center is named for Arthur Joseph “Pepper” Geddings, Jr. Nicknamed “Pepper” for his lively, positive personality and his competitive spirit, Geddings took part in city recreation programs for seven years and was well known by all. He graduated from Myrtle Beach High School in 1965 and left for college to continue his love of baseball. Pepper graduated with honors from Wingate Junior College in 1967. Then, during a game between Appalachian State University, where he was a junior, and Wingate, Pepper was accidentally struck by a pitched baseball. He died from the injury at age 20. Myrtle Beach was building a recreation center at the time, and in 1968 the new facility was named in Pepper’s memory.
Savannah’s Playground is named in honor of Miss Savannah Thompson, a young woman who serves as an inspiration to those who have the privilege of meeting her. The award-winning, enabling playground is located behind Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium and was the brainchild of former Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes. The $1.5 million project includes play structures and equipment that are ADA compliant. Funding was received from a variety of sources, including the City of Myrtle Beach, the State of South Carolina, the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority and Horry County. Additional expansion projects are currently underway!
The Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center on Oak Street is named for the late Ted C. Collins, who served the city for 20 years, first as a member of City Council and then as a municipal judge. Judge Collins died suddenly December 26, 2000. He served on City Council from 1978 to 1986 and then as a Municipal Court judge from 1988 until his death. City Council named the Law Enforcement Center in Judge Collins’ memory on March 13, 2001. Council’s proclamation reads, in part, “Ted Collins was well known for his compassion, humor, friendliness, warmth and personality.”
PARKS & PLAZAS
Anderson Park on Ocean Boulevard at 20thAvenue North was named for James and Dorothy Anderson. The duo owned the adjacent Camelot Hotel. The Andersons helped build Myrtle Beach into the seaside resort populated town it is today with their lodging facilities. The park was received as part of the open space requirements for the 21stAvenue North Planned Unit Development.
The Andre S. Pope Mountain Bike Skills Park, 4670 South Kings Highway, is named for Andre S. Pope, a lifelong resident of Horry County and dedicated member of the cycling community. Pope had a desire to support cycling in the community by providing a safe space for all levels of mountain bikers to learn and improve their skill levels and confidence on their bicycles. Pope utilized his talent as a graphic artist, and created (on his own time and at his own expense) a full color glossy brochure showing in graphics and text all that such a park could be. Andre was part of the team that presented the concept of this park to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority. Upon project approval, Andre was instrumental in mapping and clearing the trail, making the mountain bike skills park a reality.
Archibald Rutledge Memorial Park, a mini park located at 224 48thAvenue North, is named for the late South Carolina writer Archibald Rutledge. Born in McClellanville in Charleston County, South Carolina, Archibald spent most of his time at his plantation home. He wrote his first poem at age three, attended McClellanville High School and later Porter Academy in Charleston. After receiving a scholarship to Union College in New York, Rutledge later graduated valedictorian in 1904 and became a teacher. He later produced 25 volumes of poetry and 45 volumes of prose. Upon retiring in 1937, Rutledge returned to his plantation home to restore it (now known as Hampton Plantation State Park). In his lifetime, Rutledge received many honors, including more than 20 honorary degrees and more than 30 gold medals. His books have been published around the world. Notably, he won second place in the Pulitzer Contest in poetry on two occasions (Robert Frost and Edna Millay were selected as the winners).
Bathsheba Bowens Memorial Park, 840 Nance Street, is named in memory of Miss Beulah Bathsheba Bowens, a Myrtle Beach resident. Born in December 1951, Bowens served as an outstanding role model as a student, tutor, choir singer, church member and community leader. She passed away unexpectedly in February 1968 at 17. The park was made possible by Sandy Grove Baptist Church.
Chapin Park, located beside Chapin Memorial Library, was named after Simeon Brooks Chapin. Chapin was a successful banker and broker in Chicago, Illinois, when he acquired several business interests in the Carolinas. In 1911, Chapin first visited Myrtle Beach. Soon after, he joined the Burroughs brothers to form the Myrtle Beach Farms Company, holding an estate of 66,000 acres of land. Chapin embraced the vision that the future of Myrtle Beach offered unlimited potential. Simeon Chapin was known for his philanthropic involvement, later founding the Chapin Foundation. The foundation is responsible for giving the city the present-day Chapin Memorial Library. The park received a facelift in 2016 and includes a gazebo, playground, picnic area and a new stage!
Futrell Park, off Mr. Joe White Avenue, is named for the late James Futrell, the first African-American to serve on the Myrtle Beach City Council. Mr. Futrell served on Council from 1982 to 1992 and led by example as a devoted civic visionary.
Gardens by the Sea, an Ocean Boulevard park in the Ocean Forest neighborhood, is a joint effort between the Myrtle Beach Woman's Club and the City of Myrtle Beach. Established in 2000 at the south end of the Cabana Section, the park features a play area, flowers, lush landscaping, a fountain, memorial pavers and a nice view of the beach.
Gray Park, located at Haskell Circle and Porcher Drive, is named for former Myrtle Beach Councilman Philip Gray. Gray moved to Myrtle Beach around 1936 at the age of 21 to work on the Intracoastal Waterway. He married Esther Nance in 1940 and started Gray Welding Company in 1945 (later renamed Grayco Steel Company). Philip Gray served on the Myrtle Beach City Council from 1947 to 1953. Gray also served on the Myrtle Beach High School Board of Education from 1950 to 1954. In the 1950s, Philip Gray founded two new companies: Sunco Pool Company and Genco Chemical Company. After Hurricane Hazel’s destructive visit to Myrtle Beach in 1954, the city and Grand Strand experienced tremendous tourism growth. Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gray were avid supporters of the growth of the hospitality industry in Myrtle Beach due to positive economic impact. Philip Gray later served as Chairman of the Organizing Committee for Horry-Georgetown Technical College in 1962.
Holmes B. Springs Park is named for Holmes B. Springs, who was born in 1879 in the Bucksville area of Horry County. His father was the captain of a sailing ship that carried cargo out of Georgetown, South Carolina, and his grandfather served as a blockade-runner during the Civil War (was captured and hung by Union soldiers at Southport, North Carolina). Springs grew up in Georgetown and Pawley’s Island, and was a graduate of Georgetown High School in 1895. He attended Citadel from 1895 to 1898, and later graduated from Spartanburg Business College in 1898. General Springs’ had a long military record, beginning as a private in the old Georgetown Rifle Guards. In infantry, he worked his way up to Lt. Colonel, commanding his regiment on the Mexican border from July 1916 to May 1917. On August 4, 1917, he left to fight in World War I in Europe, where he was gassed and suffered from related illness for the rest of his life. General Springs married Louise Wilson and had six children. As a businessman and president of a real estate and insurance firm organized in 1904, he later founded Farmers and Merchants Bank and served as president of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce from 1910-1917. In 1919, General Springs moved his family to Greenville, South Carolina, where he was a member of the Parrish, Gower & Springs Firm and Vice President of Woodside National Bank. In 1922, he became President of the Greenville of Chamber of Commerce. In 1927, General Springs encouraged the Woodside brothers to buy 66,000 acres of land in coastal Horry County and moved to Myrtle Beach. Springs later organized and served as president of H.B. Springs Insurance and Real Estate Company. Later, General Springs was placed in charge of the draft in South Carolina during World War II, serving as Director of state’s Selective Service Board. He was also a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for National Defense and a trustee of Columbia College and University of South Carolina. Springs passed away in 1951, leaving 18 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and a lasting legacy in Myrtle Beach.
Hurl Rock Park on Ocean Boulevard at 20th Avenue South was the city’s first oceanfront park. The city acquired Hurl Rock Park in the 1970s. The original name was Hearl Rock, named for a family from the Socastee area in the late 18th century. Subsequently, the name was changed in 1913 to “Hurl” Rock by Margaret Ann Klein after purchasing the property. Klein felt the new name more aptly described the wave movements against the rocks. The unique, unusual rock formations have been covered by sand for many years.
The Marcus and Frankie Smith Memorial Park at 38th Avenue North is named for one of Myrtle Beach's founding couples. J. Marcus Smith was the city's first optometrist, and in his spare time he was a history buff who wrote columns for local newspapers. His writings were collected by his son and published in a book titled, "I Remember Myrtle Beach When..." The Smith family donated the funds to remember their parents with a park on Ocean Boulevard. The park was created in 2014, at the site where the Smiths' first lived when they relocated from Conway to Myrtle Beach in 1950.
The Matt Hughes Memorial Skatepark, located between Pepper Geddings Recreation Center and Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, is named in memory of Matthew Reed Hughes, a local skateboarder who tragically died following a skating accident near his home. The park is free and open to the public. The facility opened in 1988 and received a $100,000-plus makeover in 2018. The park’s goal is to encourage the love of skateboarding in a fun and safe environment.
Nance Plaza at the intersection of Ninth Avenue North and Kings Highway was named for Daniel Wayne Nance and Mary Ellen Todd Nance in recognition of their significant contribution to Myrtle Beach’s early civic, business and religious growth. A master builder, Daniel Wayne Nance was responsible for many downtown buildings near the modern-day location of the plaza, as well as historic homes built along North Ocean Boulevard. The late Mr. Nance moved to Myrtle Beach from Shallotte, North Carolina, at the age of sixteen. The year was 1909, and he traveled on an ox-driven cart! The late Mrs. Nance’s family owned a large farm and fishery near Withers Swash. The duo together raised ten children while building and operating guest-boarding facilities. Mr. Nance served as a commissioner for “Dogwood Neck Township,” which was included in modern-day Myrtle Beach. He also petitioned at the state capital, alongside 13 other individuals, for the town’s name change to “Myrtle Beach.” The plaza features brick pathways and an animated, lighted water fountain centerpiece.
Ocean Forest Memorial Park marks the former site of the former Ocean Forest Hotel, one of the East Coast’s most grand hotels. South Carolina textile visionary John Woodside arrived in Myrtle Beach in 1926. He, alongside his brothers (now known locally as the Woodside brothers), were inspired by Brig. General Holmes B. Springs to build a Riviera-style resort and playground for America’s wealthy. Woodside reportedly paid Myrtle Beach Farms Company a staggering $950,000 for about 66,000 acres of land. Built on the ocean-side surrounded by pines and myrtle bushes lining the shore, the new grand white structure earned the name, “Ocean Forest Hotel.” Nearby, Woodside built a 27-hole golf course designed by Robert White, the first PGA President. The golf course is now known as the Pine Lakes Country Club and Golf Course. The million-dollar hotel’s doors opened on February 21, 1930, four months after the stock market crashed in 1929. Woodside’s vision faded after the crash and onset of the Great Depression, and outside investors later bought the hotel and golf course. Ocean Forest Hotel occupied thirteen acres and was designed by architect Raymond Hood (well-known for designing New York’s popular Rockefeller Center). The hotel stood 29 feet above sea level and featured a 10-story wedding cake tower, with two additional five-story wings. The property included gardens, pools, stables, marble stairways, crystal chandeliers, Greek-style columns, faucets that dispensed both fresh and salt water, 202 ventilated bathrooms, oriental rugs, a grand ballroom and more. Guests lounged ocean-side and dined like royalty. A carpeted double stairway flanked the ground floor entrance. The property changed hands several times over the course of the next few decades. On a Friday morning in 1974, the city lost a piece of heritage when the property was razed by owners due to the high cost of remodeling.
Plyler Park, 1000 North Ocean Boulevard, is named for Justin Whitaker Plyler, an early visionary who loved Myrtle Beach and saw what it could become. Plyler opened several businesses following his service in World War II, including the iconic Gay Dolphin Gift Shop in 1946. In 2019, Plyler Park welcomed a new resident. The park now features the Goddess of the Sea, a bronze stature created by nationally-renowned artist Kristen Visbal.
Spivey Park is named for the late Col. D. “Doc” Allen Spivey, an early investor in Myrtle Beach. Alongside his brother, John C. Spivey, Doc Spivey bought parcels of land in the mid-to-late 1920s through his company, Horry Land and Improvement Company. “Spivey Beach” was located from around First to 17thAvenues South, and the land included a pavilion. Spivey also founded Bank of Conway in 1893, and the Peoples National Bank of Conway. He served as a South Carolina State Representative from 1908-1912 and South Carolina Senator from 1925 to 1928.
Withers Swash Park and much of the surrounding Withers Swash area was once part of a 66,000-acre King’s Grant to Robert Francis Withers in the early 1700s. Robert and his wife, Mary, operated an indigo and rice plantation overlooking the swash. During the great hurricane of 1822, 18 people who sought refuge in the Withers family home near the swash were swept away by the storm surge.
STREETS, PATHS & LOCATIONS
Acline Avenue is located in the oldest portion of Myrtle Beach. While not a named for an individual, the name comes from the evolved form of "AC Line." The Atlantic Coast Line was the railroad that served the local farms in the area, hence Acline Avenue for the nearby street.
Cain Alley is named in memory of Wilson Cain, who served as the city’s longest serving City Council member. The alley is located where Wilson lived and runs from 25th to 29th Avenues South, parallel to Ocean Boulevard and Yaupon Drive. Wilson Cain, who served 22 years on the Myrtle Beach City Council, passed away in 2018. A devoted pharmacist, Cain served the city during the growth periods of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. He helped establish and guide the city that our residents and visitors know and love today. Cain cared immensely about Myrtle Beach and was one of the city's biggest supporters. He was generous and genuine, and his passion and enthusiasm for Myrtle Beach will never be forgotten. Following his many years on Council, he continued to serve the public as a member of the Air Base Redevelopment Authority.
Carver Street, located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, is named for George Washington Carver, an American agricultural scientist, professor and inventor. Born into slavery in Missouri, Carver was an avid leader and proponent of education for all. Carver educated others about alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. An ardent leader of environmentalism, Carver developed techniques to teach poor farmers to grow peanuts, sweet potatoes and other alternatives to cotton.
Crain E. Woods Memorial Pier, located at Futrell Park, is named for the late Mr. Woods. He was elected to the Myrtle Beach City Council in 1991, was re-elected in 1995, and served with distinction until January 2000. During his tenure on Council Mr. Woods was instrumental in the development of Futrell Park.
Farrow Parkway, which runs through The Market Common (former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base), is named for Lieutenant William G. Farrow of the U.S. Army Air Corps. A native of Darlington, South Carolina, Lt. Farrow piloted a B-25 bomber over Japan during World War II as one of Doolittle’s Raiders. He and his crew were captured after their plane ran out of fuel and crashed in April 1942. Farrow was executed in October of that year. A street at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base – now the Market Common district – was named in Billy Farrow’s memory in 1982, marking the 40th anniversary of POW-MIA Day.
Franklin Carroll Taylor Jr. Beach Walkway, located across from Highland Way, is named in memory of city resident Carroll Taylor. Taylor's career as a coach and educator spanned six decades. In retirement, the former educator and coach adopted the crossover there and was known as the "Ambassador of 62nd Avenue."
Fred Nash Boulevard, which intersects Farrow Parkway, is named for a local resident who rescued an Air Force pilot when his T-33 trainer crashed and burned near the Myrtle Beach State Park Pier in 1958. At age 71, Fred Nash rushed to the burning aircraft and helped the pilot to safety. Nash was seriously burned in the rescue. He later received the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service Award in recognition of his heroic action.
Gabreski Lane, home of the General Robert H. Reed Recreation Center at The Market Common (former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base), is named for Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, America’s top air ace in Europe during World War II and the third highest-scoring U.S. ace ever. As a young second lieutenant, Gabreski was stationed in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Of Polish descent, Gabreski asked to be transferred to Europe after Pearl Harbor. He downed 28 enemy planes over France and Germany and destroyed three more on the ground, then was captured after crash-landing on what would have been his last mission. He spent 10 months as a prisoner of war. Gabreski also became an air ace during the Korean War, where he was credited with shooting down six-and-a-half planes. Colonel Gabreski assumed command of the 342nd Fighter Day Wing at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base on September 10, 1956. It later became the 354th Fighter Day Wing. Gabreski retired from the Air Force in 1967 and died in 2002 in Long Island, New York. The Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County, New York, is named in his memory.
“Gloria’s Way” is the northern portion of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, from 14thAvenue Pier to Plyler Park, named in memory of Gloria Lindsay Sapp, a longtime teacher, hotelier, volunteer, businesswoman and civic leader. Bronze plaques are in place at both ends of this section of the boardwalk. Sapp, who was an ardent supporter of the boardwalk project, passed away in April 2010 at the age of 84. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk opened in May 2010.
Harrelson Boulevard is named for Myrtle Beach’s first mayor, W.L. Harrelson, Sr., who served from March 1938 to December 1939 and again from January 1942 to December 1943. He worked as a pharmacist in the community. The city purchased land for the municipal airport during his first term, and the terminal at the airport was named in his memory. Today, it’s known as Myrtle Beach International Airport, with its entrance on Harrelson Boulevard.
The Jack Walker East Coast Greenway Trailhead, located at the southernmost point point Myrtle Beach city limits, was dedicated in honor of retired city planning director Jack Walker in 2017. Walker’s efforts, expertise and commitment led to Myrtle Beach’s success. By the way, the East Coast Greenway runs from Maine to Florida; and, the City of Myrtle Beach was the first city in the nation to complete its greenway segment!
Kings Highway (originally known as King’s Highway) was roughly a 1,300-mile road built in the late 1600s to 1735 to connect the American colonies by England’s King Charles II. The intent was to link Charleston (originally known as Charles Town), South Carolina, to Boston, Massachusetts. The modern-day U.S. 17 features many portions of the original King’s Highway. However, Kings Highway was a Native American trail long before European settlers arrived in the New World! As the colonies grew, the Native American trail became the main route between north states and southern cities. At one time in Myrtle Beach, giant sand dunes came all the way up to where present-day Kings Highway passes.
Mr. Joe White Avenue (10thAvenue North) is named for a humble shoeshine man remembered for his friendly smile and colorful personality. Julius “Joe” White was born in Georgetown in 1910 and moved to Myrtle Beach in 1930. A self-described “shoe stylist,” he began shining shoes for a nickel in the sixth grade, using the money he earned for lunches and Sunday School tithes. In the early years, Mr. Joe could be found shining shoes at several barbershops and the Ocean Forest Hotel. Once the hotel was gone, he settled into a chair at Woody’s Arcade Barbershop, off 10th Avenue North, becoming a highly visible fixture in the downtown area. Mr. Joe passed away in 1997, and the street was named in his honor in early 2002. Mr. Joe was a well-known businessman. He never learned to drive, so Mr. Joe used a bicycle to get to and from his home in the Nance neighborhood. He gave people a friendly honk and wave as he passed on his bike. Those who knew him say that his mere presence would prevent mischief, because people didn’t want to disappoint Mr. Joe. His reputation traveled far beyond Myrtle Beach. In 1991, the South Carolina General Assembly recognized Mr. Joe White and his wife, Louise, for their exemplary lives. Former Governor Carroll Campbell also recognized the Whites for their contributions. Mr. Joe White loved his job and his customers and took uncommon pride in his work. During his 87 years, he set an example for all to follow.
Perrin’s Path is a 1.2-mile stretch of walking and biking trail along Grissom Parkway, between 48thand 62ndAvenues North. The path is named in memory of the late Perrin Lawson, Jr., a longtime resident, architect and public servant. Perrin’s Path is part of the East Coast Greenway. Perrin Lawson’s architectural legacies within the Horry County community include: Pepper Geddings Recreation Center, Rainbow Harbor, Loris Middle School and Gulf Stream Villas. Lawson passed away in 2001.
Robert Grissom Parkway, which runs from Harrelson Boulevard on the south to Carolina Bays Parkway on the north, is named for a long-time Myrtle Beach City Council member and mayor. The late Bob Grissom served for 16 years on City Council, including three terms as mayor. He died in 1998, and the road was named in his honor in April 1999. Bob Grissom's daughter, former Councilwoman Susan Grissom Means, stepped down in January 2016 after serving four terms.
Rourk Street, which branches off of 82nd Parkway near Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, is named for Dr. W.A. Rourk. Dr. W.A. Rourk was a physician in the Myrtle Beach. During a period when other doctors would not treat African American patients in Myrtle Beach in the 1930s and 1940s, Rourk treated all members of the Myrtle Beach community equally.
Although S.C. 31 (also known as Carolina Bays Parkway and John B. Singleton Parkway) is not located within the city limits of Myrtle Beach, it is named in memory of John B. Singleton. Known for his vision in promoting construction of a north-south route west of the Intracoastal Waterway and his lifetime of contributions to Myrtle Beach, Singleton worked as a local pharmacist and was active in the Myrtle Beach community. He was named Young Man of the Year in 1960, served as the first chairman of the Miss Sun Fun Pageant and was active in the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Hospitality Association. He also served as a Myrtle Beach City Council member from 1966-1974. Singleton was selected as Citizen of the Year in 1992 for his efforts on behalf of the parkway and his other commitments.
Spivey Avenue is named for Mr. Sylvester Spivey, a Myrtle Beach community member. Spivey worked as a foreman who operated a blacksmith shop near Green Bean Farm in the oldest portion of the city.
Washington Street, located in the heart of the city, is named for Booker Taliaferro Washington, a Virginia-born author, educator and speaker. Regarded as one of the first influential African Americans in the United States, Booker T. Washington was born into slavery and became the leading voice for change during the oppressive Jim Crow era of the south. His legacy continues to inspire many generations across the United States and world.
TheWilliam Bartram Trail is named for naturalist William Bartram. In 1776, Bartram traveled along the trail in the Myrtle Beach area, noting the "cliffs and rocks" formed on the coastline at modern-day 20th Avenue South. Later, the cliff and rock formations led to the name Hurl Rock Park (listed above).
Withers Swash and much of the surrounding area was once part of a 66,000-acre King’s Grant to Robert Francis Withers in the early 1700s. Robert and his wife, Mary, operated an indigo and rice plantation overlooking the swash. During the great hurricane of 1822, 18 people who sought refuge in the Withers family home near the swash were swept away by the storm surge. By the way, five creeks, known locally as “swashes,” flow to the ocean inside the City of Myrtle Beach. The swash names are, as follows: Bear Branch Swash, Deep Head Swash, Cane Patch Swash, Midway Swash and Withers Swash.
Additional namesakes found within the Market Common District… For nearly 50 years, Myrtle Beach was a military town, first as home to the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s, and then to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base beginning in the 1950s. The United States Air Force closed the base in Myrtle Beach in 1993, and the property has since been redeveloped as the Market Common District, complete with an urban town center known as The Market Common, a Grand Park that features open space, Warbird Park, the Wall of Service, recreation fields, a large lake and a 1.1-mile walking and bicycling trail. The Market Common area also features many streets named for people who were involved in the base’s history and its redevelopment…
- Baldwin Lane – Maj. Gen. (Chaplain of the United States Air Force) Charles C. Baldwin
- Barton Circle – Col. Larry K. Barton
- Blizzard Street – Joe W. Blizzard
- Branch Street – Col. Alva George Branch
- Carlson Street – Gen. Bruce Carlson
- Carns Lane – Gen. Michael P.C. Carns
- Curtis L. Brown Lane – Col. Curtis L. Brown
- DeVille Avenue – Col. Edsel J. “Coupe” DeVille
- Emmens Street – Col. Robert G. Emmens
- Forbus Court – CMSgt. William Forbus
- Hackler Street – Maj. Gen. James Franklin Hackler, Jr.
- Howard Avenue – Brig. Gen. James Howell Howard
- Johnson Avenue – Capt. Paul Johnson
- Kruzel Street – Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Kruzel
- McKinley Circle – Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force Rodney J. McKinley
- Meyers Avenue – Maj. Gen. Gilbert L. Meyers
- Murray Avenue – Chief Master Sergeant Gerald R. Murray
- Nevers Street – Col. Joseph R. Nevers
- Pancho Street – Col. Robert P. “Pancho” Pasqualichio
- Reed Street – General Robert H. Reed
- Shine Avenue – Lt. Col. Anthony “Tony” Shine
- Styers Way – Col. Thomas C. “Buddy” Styers
- Thrash Way – Col. Charles M. Thrash
- Tirrell Circle – Mrs. Wilma Hucks Tirrell