Guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk have a wide selection of attractions, dining, nightlife and shopping options by simply taking a short stroll from our backyard down the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. But if you and your family want to take a unique journey back in time, it’s only about a 40-minute drive away at the L.W. Paul Living History Farm in rural Horry County.
Serving as an outpost for the Horry County Museum, this working farm gives guests a glimpse of what life was like on the Grand Strand between 1900 and 1955 — before there were water parks and mega-malls in Myrtle Beach. For parents and grandparents who feel like their stories about the good ol’ days are falling on deaf ears, this is a great opportunity to show the younger generation what growing up a century or so ago in rural America was like before the invention of cellphones.
Situated on 17 acres donated by local businessman Larry Paul in an effort to preserve the rich agricultural heritage of the area, the family farm operates just as it would have in the old days. Gardens are grown and maintained from spring through the autumn harvest, farm animals are fed and cared for in their barn stalls, and farmhands perform their many chores throughout the day, including plowing fields with a team of mules, blacksmithing, grinding grits and milking the cows.
The fall is an especially good time to visit the L.W. Paul Living History Farm. Just like in the old days, the autumn harvest is also a time of celebration on the farm. Activities like harvesting crops, canning fruits and vegetables, and preserving meat to stock up before the winter are on full display, as are other traditional chores like making lye soaps, cooking on a wood stove, and washing and hanging laundry.
The old homestead is a one-room cabin that was commonplace in the country during those days, and a tobacco curing barn and smokehouse are some of the most important structures to survival on the farm. While rice was the chief export of the South Carolina Lowcountry and cotton was king in the Upstate, tobacco was the cash crop for folks living between in the Carolinas. Dressing wild game and farm animals and curing the meat with salt and smoke was critical before the arrival of refrigeration.
While these daily tasks might seem mundane to the modern generation, they are great lessons for kids who take the good life for granted. What better way to relate to the older generation than by seeing and doing the farm labor firsthand? You might even get them to put down the cellphone for a few hours and experience a time period they have only read about in textbooks.
For Bay View on the Boardwalk guests traveling to the beach by car who would like to visit on their way in or out of town, there’s a good chance their route will take them close to the L.W. Paul Living History Farm. Located at 2279 Harris Short Cut Road in Conway, which is just off Highway 701 near the junction with Highway 22 (Conway Bypass), the farm is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information, call 843-365-3596.
After a hard day of work on the farm, head back to your world of luxury at Bay View on the Boardwalk. With the resort’s modern accommodations and first-class amenities, you can kick back, relax and enjoy your visit with a new appreciation for the good ol’ days — and an even bigger appreciation for your Myrtle Beach vacation days.