Hurricane Matthew left Springmaid Pier partially destroyed, leaving debris and wood in both the ocean and on shore.
Despite the destruction, people were out on the beach Sunday afternoon collecting items that had washed ashore. Many were taking pieces of the pier to keep as memories in their homes.
“We were looking for beautiful wood so that we can put it up in the house as a memory. You know, of the pier, the hurricane, and the date,” said Myrtle Beach resident Maruen Baralei.
The pier, a beloved Myrtle Beach landmark, opened in 1953 as part of Springmaid Resort. The resort was a popular place among mill workers who were able to enjoy an inexpensive beach vacation.
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The rate for a room was $2, or $1 a bed.
The most current pier was not the original pier. It had been replaced by two others, which also were destroyed — one by a storm and the other by a plane.
This history gives people hope that the Springmaid Pier will be rebuilt again.
“There’s a little swing over there that you have to wait in line for, but it’s like a little love swing. You can go there with your wife and relax,” said Myrtle Beach resident Jeff Weil. “They have a great restaurant. It’s just a great place to go fishing, there’s a lot of regulars over there. We go over there after work a lot of times just to hang out so it’s a shame, but it’ll be back. We know it will be.”
“I really believe they will, and we will come back 1,000 percent strong from Matthew, and we feel very fortunate, we’re very fortunate,” said resident Wilda Hylton.
Of course, many people have special memories from the pier.
“I have known this pier for many many years and it’s a very sad day for Myrtle Beach, for Surfside, for North Myrtle Beach. Just very very sad,” said resident Wilda Hylton. “I used to come here as a small girl before I moved here, and we, anytime that we would have family come and visit we would always bring them to the pier. And it’s memories like that, and from when I was younger too, coming to Myrtle Beach, it’s like an icon that’s gone.”
Cleanup of the pier began Sunday, but it is still closed off to the public.
“It’s pretty epic. It’s cool to see it, but it’s sad to know it’s going to cost so much to rebuild it,” Coastal Carolina student Caroline Collatos.