How Myrtle Beach Got Its Name

How Myrtle Beach Got Its Name

There are names of cities and towns throughout the United States that can be found in more than one place. However, the name Myrtle Beach can only be found in South Carolina. Being a unique city name, many people often wonder where the name came from.

Those who move here from other regions may recognize plenty of  crepe myrtle tress planted throughout Myrtle Beach, and may assume that these are the namesake for the city. However, while it seems completely reasonable to think that, the crepe myrtle tree was not the inspiration for how Myrtle Beach got its name.

Long ago, the Myrtle Beach area used to be known as Long Bay and New Town. In the 1700s, the Withers family owned quite a large amount of property in the area and thus what is now Myrtle Beach used to be called Withers. But in the late 1800s, the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway bought a lot of the Withers’ land, thus leading to a city naming contest in the year 1900.

While many names were proposed for the area, the winning name was Myrtle Beach. But how exactly did it get this name? Addie Burroughs, widow of Franklin G. Burroughs from the Burroughs and Collins Company came up with the name Myrtle Beach inspired by a particular plant in the area: wax myrtle bushes.

The name Myrtle Beach has stuck since then. In 1938, Myrtle Beach officially became a town, but then, with its rapid growth, it became a city in 1957. To this day, Myrtle Beach is always expanding and each year we see a large influx of vacationers visiting our city, and more and more people deciding to make this beautiful place their new home.

Who knew that such a small thing could be the namesake of one of America’s favorite vacation destinations?