"H" is for Horry County

May 8, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"H" is for Horry County (1,134 square miles, 2010 population, 270, 516). Horry is the largest and easternmost of South Carolina’s forty-six counties, forming a wedge between North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. Its geographical isolation led in the 1840s to its being referred to as the “Independent Republic of Horry.” Unsuited for either rice or cotton production, by 1860 it was the poorest county in the state. The introduction of bright leaf tobacco in the 1890s brought prosperity and linked the county’s economy to the tobacco market. In the 1950s, Horry’s beaches attracted increasing numbers of tourists and Myrtle Beach became the centerpiece of the thirty-mile-long Grand Strand. By the late 1980s Horry County had evolved into two distinct cultures: a cosmopolitan, sun-belt economy along the coast and a traditional agricultural society inland.