North Myrtle actually started out as four distinct beach communities: Cherry Grove Beach, Crescent Beach, Ocean Drive Beach (O.D. Beach), and Windy Hill Beach. In 1968, they united to become the City of North Myrtle Beach. While each community maintains its original name, they became unified for the sake of tourism.
Cherry Grove was formerly known as Minor’s Island in the eighteenth century. When Cherry Grove Inlet closed in 1950, it added 2 miles of beachfront, East Cherry Grove Beach. The Cherry Grove Pavilion was built and businesses sprang up, including Boulineau’s Food Store, Cherry Grove Boat Basin, Pollard’s Drug Sundry Store, and Cherry Grove Realty Co. Surf and pier fishing drew lots of anglers. A world-record tiger shark weighing 1,780 pounds was caught from the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier in 1964. This record remains intact in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The state’s official dance is the shag. O.D. Beach is reportedly the home and origin of the shag. For many years, folks flocked to Robert’s Pavilion in O.D. to shag (and do other popular dances), hang out, and enjoy cheeseburgers in the pavilion restaurant. O.D. was an extremely popular spring break destination. House parties were legendary, and college kids also enjoyed the added attractions offered by the pavilion, including bowling, amusement rides, and roller skating. Kids often drag raced along the beach (it is illegal to drive on the beach nowadays, but it was legal at that time). Along with tourism came local commerce. Hotel Douglas MacArthur, Woods 5 & 10 Store, The Beach Shop, and Ocean Drive Ice Co. were among the local businesses that thrived until Hurricane Hazel in 1954.