Hot Off the Press

October 2014
Written By: 
New releases from our local authors
Lost Myrtle Beach
Becky Billingsley
The History Press, 2014, $16.99
Whether you’re thirsting for history, want to relive the good old days or have realized the landscape of Myrtle Beach is changing a bit too rapidly for your taste, Becky Billingsley’s new book, Lost Myrtle Beach, will fill a need.

Billingsley, also the author of A Culinary History of Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, journeys back to the past and shows just how much the landscape of Myrtle Beach has changed in not so much time. From the days of wild beauty, where visitors had to take ferries to arrive at the coast and children played in swash waters that are now questionable at best, to the time when a natural black coquina rock foundation known as Hurl Rocks graced our beach, Billingsley examines eras of the past and the way their impact (and the impact of their loss) has shaped our future.

Billingsley explores how transportation changed the area, how two major hurricanes reshaped the landscape and paved the way for tourism and how the traditional beach retreats are slowly being lost to high rises. Reliving the good is far from Billingsley’s only aim. She explores places like the historic Chesterfield Inn, which was built in 1964, was on the National Register of Historic Places by 1996, and was razed in 2012 to build another miniature golf course. Myrtle Beach currently has no historic preservation committee or ordinances, so often the fate of these buildings is left solely to their owner’s discretion. Sadly, because of economic opportunity, these treasures of architecture and history are being lost at an alarming rate.

“I hope that remembering what is lost will inspire people to speak up and let city leaders know we want our past preserved and our beaches in natural states before even more of our heritage is forever lost,” says Barbara Ward Horner, former archivist for The Sun News.

Reflections of South Carolina, v. 2
Photographs by Robert C. Clark, Text by Tom Poland
The University of South Carolina Press, 2014, $44.95
Though it is the 40th largest state in the U.S., South Carolina has a diverse and beautiful geography spread across her small size. Reflections of South Carolina, v.2 offers a visually stunning journey of our landscapes. Each photograph is accompanied by a poetic description with historic and interesting facts sprinkled in along the way.

Start in “The Upcountry: Realm of Peaks, Vales, and Falls.” Here you’ll get an up-close look at Oconee Bell, Appalachia’s Rare Flower, a gorgeous and rare evergreen herbaceous shrub. Take a look at the sun casting light over Chatooga Belle Farm, where you can see Georgia on the left and North Carolina on the right. Head down to “The Heartland: Country of Rivers, Sandhills, and Shores.” In Early Light on the Saluda enjoy the scenery of Congaree National Park, the only national park in the state.

Finally, arrive in “The Lowcountry: Province of Marshes, Moss, and Sea.” In Diana, you’ll be reminded that the Grand Strand’s own Brookgreen Gardens has the coveted honor of having the largest collection of outdoor sculpture in the world. Take a peek at Charleston Tea Plantation, North America’s only tea plantation, which is toured by about 30,000 people a year.

Whether your heart is tied to the upcountry, heartland or Lowcountry, the blend of stunning photographs and lovely prose make this book worthy of any proud Carolinian’s coffee table.