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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about history and how our proximity to events colors our perspective of history.   The further we are from an event, the bigger it has to be for it to matter today.   It’s almost a ‘what have you done for me lately’ attitude.

Today, I want to talk about history again, but nothing so abstract this time.    Actual history.     My wife and I went to the Horry County Museum in Conway last weekend for a lecture on a local Georgetown-area rice plantation, Mansfield.   We’ve stayed there (it’s now a bed and breakfast) so we were interested in the lecture.   It wasn’t that well-attended, although I didn’t think it would be.     We like history and when we travel we like to take in the local history through tours and such.   Our favorite cities in the region are Savannah and Charleston.   Both are rich with history and those cities do everything they can to keep that history alive.   It’s a huge money-making industry between walking tours, carriage tours, books and souvenirs.     That’s why I wish me had more history around here.     Sure, Georgetown has a long tradition and plenty to explore, like Conway, but Myrtle Beach is a relative newcomer, clocking in at just more than 75 years old.     That’s why it’s important to preserve any history we have and make sure future generations have something to explore.     The grandest structure on the beach for 40 years was the Ocean Forest Hotel.    Built in 1930, it was an awesome site on the beachfront, but it was imploded only 44 years later to make room for condos.      Why worry about history when there’s money to be made?     How about the Pavilion?     A Myrtle Beach staple for generations, it was also torn down about a decade ago to make room for…..something….we’re still waiting to find out what.     I’m not bemoaning progress, I’m just saying that once something’s gone, it’s gone forever.

I was reading that the city of Myrtle Beach is looking to preserve some of its history called Charlie’s Place.   In the carver street area in the 30s and 40s, some of the biggest names in entertainment used to come through Myrtle Beach, but since they were black, they couldn’t play the white venues.   Charlie’s Place is where they played.   Now it’s in the midst of being torn down along with the motel next door.    It’s apparently one of the last standing places in the historic ‘negro travelers green book’.      It may not be a place you’ve seen, been to or plan on visiting, but if you’re like me and like to see history remain, it sounds like something that needs to be taken care of somehow.     Kind of like the city did with the Myrtle Beach Colored School.   It may not sound politically correct, but it’s nice to see that someone what thinking about history when it was saved and preserved.    

So….step number 1…..preserve history.    If you’re a town, county or even an individual, it’s our duty to save what we can from being scrapped so that future generations can enjoy it.

Step 2, go see something.   Explore.     In our area, go to the museums, walk through the historic parts of Conway.    Go to Georgetown and take a tour through downtown or a tour of some of the 200 year old homes just off Front Street.    Keep your eyes open for the plantation tours.   Go up to Fort Fisher on the mouth of the Cape Fear.     People take great pains to preserve historical buildings and artifacts, but if nobody goes to see them, then what’s their incentive to go through all those great pains?     Take an afternoon or a Saturday and do something different.   Explore.   Travel around without your GPS.    Learn things.