Railroad station opened before there was officially a town nearby.
Myrtle Beach Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Station
Photo taken by Pubdog (no real name given)
License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
The ACL and The Chapin Company have built the Depot to provide a needed transportation link between the mainland and the beach. Although based on ACLís standard station design, structural enhancements gave the depot some Mediterranean features that reflected the local architecture of the day.
Though details are still hard to find, it is likely that most of the trains are mixed passenger and freight trains. Myrtle Beach was not yet the tourist destination it would become in the late 20th century.
1967 -- With the state of passenger trains in decline, ACL sells the depot to a beer distributor. The new company builds an office and warehouse in front of the depot blocking it from view of the main road ways. The distributor also removes an exterior freight dock from the Depot and replacs it with an enclosed two-bay maintenance garage for trucks. The remainder of the building is then used for storage and warehousing.
1999 -- The depot is now up for sale as the owner know longer needs the property. After several months with no viable offers, the owner is advised that the property might sell more quickly as vacant land. Word spreads quickly that a demolition permit had been requested for the Depot and a public outcry rises to save one of Myrtle Beachís few remaining historic buildings.
Initially, the city works with the owner to move the historic station to a new site, but the city eventually buys the building and land outright for $750,000. The city forms the Myrtle Beach All Aboard Committee and charges it with restoring the building and listing it on the National Register of Historic Places. The all volunteer group also begins raising money, more than $650,000 in grants and private donations, to restore the structure and improve the site with parking facilities, lighting and landscaping.
2001 -- In July of this year, the Myrtle Beach All Aboard Committee works with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to develop demolition plans for the garage. Since it was added on at such a late date, the building cannot be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Research via the Caroliniana Library at USC provides photographic evidence of the Depotís original appearance and the garage is removed.
Fundraising is still going strong with a day of train rides out of the depot on the Carolina Southern, the current operator of the adjacent tracks. The community comes out to mark the first time a train has come on the Myrtle Beach side of Intracoastal Waterway since 1987.
2002 -- The Myrtle Beach Depot is placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 20.
May 6, 2004 -- The All Aboard Committee cuts the ribbon on the newly restored Myrtle Beach Train Depot, 67 years to the day after the original opening ceremonies.
Today -- The Depot serves as a public facility for meetings, committees, receptions, activities and parties. The city operates the building and makes it available to groups for a nominal fee.