Conway's City Hall and town clock. Image courtesy of A. Woodard.
Horry County was named for Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry (1743-1815). The county was originally a part of the Georgetown District, and at one time, it was called Kingston. However, it became a separate county in 1801, with the county seat at Conway. This area of the state was isolated for many years by numerous rivers and swamps, and the inhabitants sometimes referred to themselves as the "Independent Republic of Horry." Lumber and naval stores were the primary industries during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with tobacco farming being introduced later. In the twentieth century, tourism has come to dominate the coastal section of the county centered around Myrtle Beach. Television personality Vanna White and science fiction writer William Gibson are natives of Horry County.