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A city through the years: Myrtle Beach celebrates 80th anniversary

A picture of 9th Avenue N near Ocean Boulevard taken in the 1960s.
A picture of 9th Avenue N near Ocean Boulevard taken in the 1960s. Photo provided by Wayne Aiken

Myrtle Beach is officially 80 years old.

On March 12, 1938, Myrtle Beach was incorporated as a town by a vote of 133 to 8. Now, the city is celebrating its 80th anniversary and an eventful history.

"City Council will celebrate tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, during the regular meeting," the city's Facebook page reads. "Happy 80th birthday Myrtle Beach!"

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. and cake and punch will be served.

Myrtle Beach through the years

The City of Myrtle Beach has carried different identities over the years, including an Air Force base and now as a popular tourist destination.

Shortly after its incorporation, the Air Force base was established in what is now The Market Common. The base closed in 1993.

In 1949, the Pavilion, a popular destination among locals and tourists, opened. The park was demolished in 2007 after closing to the public in September 2006.

The park sat on 11 acres and featured a German Baden-Band Organ, roller coasters and the popular Herschell-Sillman Carousel, which was built in 1912.

After years of sitting empty, a zip-line attraction now sits on the lot, and is home to the Carolina Country Music Festival.

In 1954, The Grand Strand was hit with Hurricane Hazel, forcing cities and towns along the coast to rebuild, according to the Visit Myrtle Beach website.

Nineteen years after its incorporation, the town officially became a city on Jan. 4, 1957. In order to become a city, the town's population had to exceed 5,000 residents.

Shorty after, a golf boom hit the area, with nearly 115 courses spanning the Grand Strand, the website reads.

Myrtle Beach has changed drastically over the years, and the area keeps growing.

Last year, the city announced that development is "booming," with nearly $411 million worth of new construction that was approved between July 2016 and July 2017.

However, icons still span Ocean Boulevard including the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, which has been open since 1946. Family Kingdom Amusement Park opened around 1966 and is still open today. It was originally named "Grand Strand Amusement Park."

Staff writer Micahela Broyles contributed to this report.

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