Georgetown County Myths
These Georgetown County Myths combine history and legends, and fact and fiction, to shed light on this unique region of the South Carolina coastline.
Gone but not forgotten
The memory of the pavilion(s) on Pawleys Island is so vivid that you’d swear it has to be somewhere in Georgetown, maybe just on the other side of the dunes. Possibly you’re faintly hearing the music wafting over on an ocean breeze.
Pawley’s Island had a pavilion, or a series of pavilions, that are fondly remembered. The first was built in the 1900s, a rustic structure near the South Causeway, and while it was nothing fancy it nevertheless enticed the locals to stop in nightly for a little drinking and dancing.
The owner of that first pavilion eventually converted it to a rental cottage and without hesitation, Willie Lachicotte built the second pavilion in 1925, just north of the first pavilion. It had rough-hewn wood floors and no restrooms, but bands played to growing numbers of patrons, and the beach music and shag dance tradition took root down at this southern end of the Grand Strand.
Fred Brickman built the third pavilion in 1935, known as the Lafayette Pavilion in honor of a visit from the Marquis du Lafayette way back in 1777. That visit occurred somewhere in this vicinity and out in the grassy marshes of the South Causeway there’s one historical marker commemorating Lafayette’s visit and another one lamenting that bygone building that burned in 1937 due to faulty electrical wiring.
A group of locals built the fourth and final pavilion, the most glorious of them all. It opened in 1960 on the marsh at the North Causeway, riding a wave of nostalgia for the first three pavilions but with many more attractive features. It had a huge dance floor and plenty of booths, and an open-air free-wheeling atmosphere that invited bands and visitors to sign their names to the walls and booths. The great names of Carolina beach music played there, including the Drifters, the Caravelles, the Monzas, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, the Catalinas, the Riveras, the Embers and the Esquires.
Somewhere behind this soundtrack rumblings were heard from the local community, that let it be known that this pavilion thing had gotten too big and was attracting the wrong sort of outsiders. In the midst of the controversy, an arsonist torched the building in 1970, but the memories of the pavilions still linger on.
Ghost of the Hermitage
An apparition combs the creek for a lost ring, and she is known to many as the Ghost of the Hermitage. The spirit of Alice Belin Flagg (1833-1849) searches the shoreline of Murrells Inlet for a ring that was given to her by a young man who did not meet with her family’s approval. She secretly wore it on a ribbon around her neck and as she lay in bed with a high fever, her brother discovered the ring and, enraged, threw it into the inlet.