Lesta Sue Hardee, Artist & Author

Speaker: Lesta Sue Hardee, Self-Taught Local Artist and Author

Ralph Jones, long standing Club Member, introduced our speaker Lesta Sue Hardee, a lifelong resident of the Myrtle Beach area, talented artist, and author. She was with the Chapin Memorial Library for over 30 years where she served as the archivist, cataloguer, and database manager. She is the creator of the oral history series, “Remembering Myrtle Beach”. Hardee is probably best known for producing two popular local history books.

The first of her history books is “The Myrtle Beach Pavilion”. For almost a century, the heart of Myrtle Beach was defined by a place simply called “the Pavilion”. From the original structure built in 1908, the Pavilion was the center of the resort town’s growing tourism industry. It was a destination point for anyone coming to the Grand Strand. Here you could stroll the Boardwalk, play arcade games, make faces in fun mirrors, ride rides, or dance the Carolina Shag. 

The second book is “Legendary Locals of Myrtle Beach” where she identifies and promotes important historical figures. Simeon B. Chapin was an entrepreneur and visionary who, along with Franklin G. Burroughs, helped create the foundation of what is Myrtle Beach today. B.B. Benfield built and opened the area’s first movie theater. Lawrence Boulier was a landscape artist and founder of the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild. John Woodside built the grand Ocean Forest Hotel. Some of these names might be unfamiliar, but each of these legendary locals, in his or her own way, has helped make Myrtle Beach the historical hometown and vacationers’ paradise that it is today.

If you want more information or have further questions about the history of Myrtle Beach you can call Lesta on (843) 918 1275. Her books can be purchased at Amazon and most local book stores.

Brooke Vu