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The Naming of the Strand

Carolina Opry

In magazines and newspapers, on billboards, storefronts and phonebooks, wafting on the airwaves of radio and television, and rolling off the tongues of residents and tourists alike, you're bound to notice the much-loved expression "The Grand Strand." The terminology is perfect and most folks are so accustomed to the phrase, no one seems to give much thought to where it originated and what it means. For the record, here's the story.

In 1949, a local reporter, named Claude Dunnagan, needed a title for a gossip and publicity column he was writing for a weekly paper called The Myrtle Beach Sun. The information in his column covered a stretch of communities from Little River to the south end of Windy Hill Beach. He wanted something short and punchy, but pertinent to the various areas on "his beat."

View of pier

Like every good writer, he scored his dictionary and thesaurus, arranged and rearranged different words, and came up with the very apt term "The Grand Strand." The original column appeared on December 3, 1949, and was filled with a brand of chatty news found in today's society columns. Very quickly, the term was picked up by other media and it came to include a whole string of communities from the fishing village of Little River to the history-steeped streets of Georgetown.

Accolades to Mr. Dunnagan for coining the perfect phrase for one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the whole world!

Written by Kimberly Duncan and originally published in the Insiders Guide to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand

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