Company History

Burroughs & Chapin, Myrtle Beach History

The history of Burroughs & Chapin Company in Horry County and Myrtle Beach began more than 150 years ago with the arrival of Franklin G. Burroughs in nearby Conway. An enterprising young man, he soon established successful building, mercantile, turpentine and other business ventures there. And as his businesses grew, the town flourished as a primary destination on the Waccamaw River.

Myrtle Beach Pavilion 1950s
Myrtle Beach Pavilion in the 1950s
After service in the Civil War, Burroughs returned to Conway and with his new partner, Benjamin Grier Collins, expanded the company's commercial interests into timber, farm credit, consumer goods and riverboats. His turpentine manufacturing business grew to be one of the largest in the country, and riverboats such as the “F.G. Burroughs” linked Horry County to the rest of the world.

A true visionary, Franklin Burroughs foresaw that one day the beaches of the Grand Strand would grow to rival the then-famous northern resort destinations of Coney Island and Atlantic City. He died in 1897 before his efforts to link the beach, via railroad, to the rest of the world were realized. In pursuit of their fathers' dreams, the sons of Burroughs and Collins completed the railroad and built the Seaside Inn in 1901, the first oceanfront hotel in Myrtle Beach. It was followed by a bathhouse and a wooden pavilion around which beach houses were constructed. By 1907, the “New Town” by the sea, as Myrtle Beach was then called, had become a popular vacation spot. Beachfront cottage lots sold for $25 each. When a contest was eventually held to name the new beach resort, Burroughs' widow, Miss Addie, suggested “Myrtle Beach” for its proliferation of wild wax myrtle bushes.

In 1912, Simeon B. Chapin, son of a prominent Chicago merchant, joined with the Burroughs family to form Myrtle Beach Farms Company. Known for his philanthropy and keen business sense, Chapin shared the belief that Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand offered unlimited potential for future growth. His financial resources and business experience, coupled with the Burroughs' vast real estate holdings, provided for a period of sustained economic growth.

As Myrtle Beach began to take shape, Myrtle Beach Farms Company nurtured the community's growing need for roads, schools, churches, hospitals and parklands with a sense of commitment and pride.

In 1990, Myrtle Beach Farms Company and Burroughs & Collins Company merged to form Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc. with land holdings throughout Horry County. The commitments to accomplishing planned, quality growth and giving back to the community that were established so long ago by Franklin G. Burroughs and Simeon B. Chapin continue today.

Seaside Inn
Myrtle Beach's first hotel, The Seaside Inn in 1901
The steamboat F.G Burroughs on the Waccamaw River
The steamboat F.G Burroughs on the Waccamaw River
Main Street in Myrtle Beach in the 1940s
Main Street in Myrtle Beach in the 1940s