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little river sc


William Douglas Property Management offers HOA Management and Association Management services in Little River, SC

Little River, S.C.

Little River, South Carolina, is an unincorporated area in the uppermost eastern portion of Horry County. The United States Census Bureau classifies the Little River area as a census-designated place or a CDP. As such, there are no legally established or defined borders of a CDP other than what the United States Census Bureau has established.

As established by the United States Census Bureau, the census-designated place for Little River has a total area of 10.48 square miles. The area or location established as the census-designated place may or may not be consistent with the traditional or local perception of the area or community defined as the CDP. Different considerations go into establishing a census-designated place by the United States Census Bureau. In most instances, however, they are created because of concentrations of population, such as what is observed within the Little River CDP.

While Little River is an unincorporated area, it is located within Horry County. Horry County was established as the Horry  District in 1801 and was created out of the northern section of the Georgetown District. The county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry. Horry District became Horry County in 1868. The county seat of Horry District was established as Kingston, which the name would later be changed to Conwayborough. Conwayborough was officially abbreviated to Conway in 1883.

The Little River area is the furthest most northern point of the “The Grand Strand” of the coastline of South Carolina. The Grand Strand is a defined area that begins at the North Carolina state line, the Little River area of South Carolina area, and goes south to Winyah Bay, South Carolina, which is more or less 40 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina. The Grand Strand is a little over 60 miles long, and it comprises the eastern ends of Horry County and Georgetown County. The term “Grand Strand” originated from a column on November 19, 1949, The Myrtle Beach Sun, titled “From the Grandstand,” and another column titled “From the Grand Strand” on December 3, 1949, in The Myrtle Beach News. Since the turn of the 20th century, the Grand Strand has developed into a key east coast tourist destination. The Grand Strand has ample hotels and recreational activities that attract millions each year.

Municipalities and Recognized Unincorporated Areas within the Grand Strand:

Horry County, South Carolina

Little River – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 11,711

North Myrtle Beach – a municipality with a 2020 population of 18,790

Cherry Grove Beach – an area of North Myrtle Beach

Ocean Drive Beach – an area of North Myrtle Beach

Crescent Beach – an area of  North Myrtle Beach

Windy Hill Beach – an area North Myrtle Beach

Atlantic Beach – a municipality with a 2010 population of 334

Briarcliffe Acres – a municipality with a 2010 population of 470

Myrtle Beach – a municipality with a 2020 population of 35,682

Springmaid Beach – an area of Myrtle Beach)

Surfside Beach – a municipality with a 2010 population of 3,837

Garden City – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 10,235

Georgetown County, South Carolina

Murrells Inlet – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 9,740

Litchfield Beach – an unincorporated area

Pawleys Island – a municipality with a 2010 population of 103

DeBordieu – an unincorporated area

Georgetown – a municipality with a 2020 population of 11,916

A Brief History of Little River and the Surrounding Areas

As evidenced by archeological discoveries, Native Americans have inhabited the Little River region for over 10,000 years. The first European documented Native American inhabitants of the Little River area were the Waccamaw people. The Waccamaw Indians lived along the banks of the Little River. The Little River area was plentiful with fish and other game that provided the Waccamaw people a steady diet, as evidenced by archeological investigations. On Waties Island, a barrier island situated on Long Bay, Native American burial mounds are present, indicating an advanced Native American people.

The first European explorer to set foot in Little River could have possibly been Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524. Verrazano, while Italian, was sailing under a French flag, and it is not certain how far south he reached. However, da Verrazano is known to have reached the Cape Fear River in present-day North Carolina, which is around thirty miles from the present-day South Carolina state line and Little River area.

Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón was the first documented European explorer to set foot on the Grand Strand. And he set foot on the very southern end at Winyah Bay on June 24, 1521. Ayllón and his expedition performed a short exploration of the general area, capturing sixty Native Americans. Returning to his ship with his captive Native Americans, Ayllón departed Winyah Bay soon afterward to Hispaniola to impress the Native Americans into slavery.

A few settlers of European descent arrived in the future Little River area in the late 1700s. However, the area was sparsely populated at best. The first settler to New Rivers appears to have been James Minor. He received a land grant, including the present-day barrier island named Minor Island or Waties Island, near Little River.

The first recorded settler of European descent of the area was William Gause in 1737. He obtained a land grant of 250 acres near the Windy Hill section of present-day North Myrtle Beach. Gause was a farmer who had also built a tavern along Kings Highway. More than likely, he built the tavern to supplement his farming income because farming conditions in the area were less than ideal. Early settlers to the area had made efforts to cultivate indigo and tobacco with less than stellar results. The area’s soil and ocean environment were not well suited for cultivating these crops.

After the founding of the United States, the most notable visitor to the future Little River and, more specifically, the future North Myrtle Beach area was President George Washington’s Southern Tour of 1791. President Washington was traveling south on the King’s Highway during his 1791 tour and had breakfast at William Gause’s tavern. President Washington continued his journey south towards Georgetown the following day and was guided across Wither’s Swash, known today as Singleton Swash by Jeremiah Vereen. President Washington spent the night at Jeremiah Vereen’s home at Windy Hill.

South of Little River, in what would become Myrtle Beach, in 1881, the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway, the predecessor of present-day Burroughs & Chapin, acquired a large tract of timbered land. Burroughs and Collins built the Conway & Seashore Railroad to transport timber back inland to Conway on February 28, 1899. The railroad was in daily operations on May 1, 1900.

Franklin Gorham “Frank” Burroughs (1834-1897) of Burroughs and Collins Company is recognized for having the foresight for transforming the future Myrtle Beach into a tourist mecca for the east coast as Florida’s beaches. The credit for naming Myrtle Beach is attributed to Adeline Cooper Burroughs (1846-1919), Franklin’s wife. She believed locally plentiful wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) bush would be a perfect name.

Little River Data and some other Interesting Facts

  • Little River’s population, per the 2020 United States Census, was calculated to be 11,711. Per the 2010 United States Census, Little River’s population was calculated to be 8,960. This is a 30.70 percent population growth increase between 2010 and the 2020 and United States Censuses.
  • Per Google Earth Location or Coordinates of Little River – Latitude: 33°52′23.48″ N, Longitude: 78°36′51.05″ W
  • Little River’s Elevation above sea level is 88 feet per Google Earth for the coordinates or location noted above.
  • Per the United States Census Bureau 2015-2019, in 2019 dollars, Little River’s median household income was $54,156.
  • The area codes for Little River are 843 and 854.
  • The ZIP code for Little River is 29566.

little river sc


William Douglas Property Management offers HOA Management and Association Management services in Little River, SC

Little River, S.C.

Little River, South Carolina, is an unincorporated area in the uppermost eastern portion of Horry County. The United States Census Bureau classifies the Little River area as a census-designated place or a CDP. As such, there are no legally established or defined borders of a CDP other than what the United States Census Bureau has established.  

As established by the United States Census Bureau, the census-designated place for Little River has a total area of 10.48 square miles. The area or location established as the census-designated place may or may not be consistent with the traditional or local perception of the area or community defined as the CDP. Different considerations go into establishing a census-designated place by the United States Census Bureau. In most instances, however, they are created because of concentrations of population, such as what is observed within the Little River CDP.  

While Little River is an unincorporated area, it is located within Horry County. Horry County was established as the Horry  District in 1801 and was created out of the northern section of the Georgetown District. The county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry. Horry District became Horry County in 1868. The county seat of Horry District was established as Kingston, which the name would later be changed to Conwayborough. Conwayborough was officially abbreviated to Conway in 1883.  

The Little River area is the furthest most northern point of the “The Grand Strand” of the coastline of South Carolina. The Grand Strand is a defined area that begins at the North Carolina state line, the Little River area of South Carolina area, and goes south to Winyah Bay, South Carolina, which is more or less 40 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina. The Grand Strand is a little over 60 miles long, and it comprises the eastern ends of Horry County and Georgetown County. The term “Grand Strand” originated from a column on November 19, 1949, The Myrtle Beach Sun, titled “From the Grandstand,” and another column titled “From the Grand Strand” on December 3, 1949, in The Myrtle Beach News. Since the turn of the 20th century, the Grand Strand has developed into a key east coast tourist destination. The Grand Strand has ample hotels and recreational activities that attract millions each year. 

Municipalities and Recognized Unincorporated Areas within the Grand Strand:

Horry County, South Carolina

Little River – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 11,711

North Myrtle Beach – a municipality with a 2020 population of 18,790

Cherry Grove Beach – an area of North Myrtle Beach

Ocean Drive Beach – an area of North Myrtle Beach

Crescent Beach – an area of  North Myrtle Beach

Windy Hill Beach – an area North Myrtle Beach

Atlantic Beach – a municipality with a 2010 population of 334

Briarcliffe Acres – a municipality with a 2010 population of 470

Myrtle Beach – a municipality with a 2020 population of 35,682

Springmaid Beach – an area of Myrtle Beach)

Surfside Beach – a municipality with a 2010 population of 3,837

Garden City – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 10,235

Georgetown County, South Carolina

Murrells Inlet – an unincorporated area with a 2020 population of 9,740

Litchfield Beach – an unincorporated area

Pawleys Island – a municipality with a 2010 population of 103

DeBordieu – an unincorporated area

Georgetown – a municipality with a 2020 population of 11,916

A Brief History of Little River and the Surrounding Areas

As evidenced by archeological discoveries, Native Americans have inhabited the Little River region for over 10,000 years. The first European documented Native American inhabitants of the Little River area were the Waccamaw people. The Waccamaw Indians lived along the banks of the Little River. The Little River area was plentiful with fish and other game that provided the Waccamaw people a steady diet, as evidenced by archeological investigations. On Waties Island, a barrier island situated on Long Bay, Native American burial mounds are present, indicating an advanced Native American people. 

The first European explorer to set foot in Little River could have possibly been Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524. Verrazano, while Italian, was sailing under a French flag, and it is not certain how far south he reached. However, da Verrazano is known to have reached the Cape Fear River in present-day North Carolina, which is around thirty miles from the present-day South Carolina state line and Little River area.  

Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón was the first documented European explorer to set foot on the Grand Strand. And he set foot on the very southern end at Winyah Bay on June 24, 1521. Ayllón and his expedition performed a short exploration of the general area, capturing sixty Native Americans. Returning to his ship with his captive Native Americans, Ayllón departed Winyah Bay soon afterward to Hispaniola to impress the Native Americans into slavery.

A few settlers of European descent arrived in the future Little River area in the late 1700s. However, the area was sparsely populated at best. The first settler to New Rivers appears to have been James Minor. He received a land grant, including the present-day barrier island named Minor Island or Waties Island, near Little River.  

The first recorded settler of European descent of the area was William Gause in 1737. He obtained a land grant of 250 acres near the Windy Hill section of present-day North Myrtle Beach. Gause was a farmer who had also built a tavern along Kings Highway. More than likely, he built the tavern to supplement his farming income because farming conditions in the area were less than ideal. Early settlers to the area had made efforts to cultivate indigo and tobacco with less than stellar results. The area’s soil and ocean environment were not well suited for cultivating these crops. 

After the founding of the United States, the most notable visitor to the future Little River and, more specifically, the future North Myrtle Beach area was President George Washington’s Southern Tour of 1791. President Washington was traveling south on the King’s Highway during his 1791 tour and had breakfast at William Gause’s tavern. President Washington continued his journey south towards Georgetown the following day and was guided across Wither’s Swash, known today as Singleton Swash by Jeremiah Vereen. President Washington spent the night at Jeremiah Vereen’s home at Windy Hill.

South of Little River, in what would become Myrtle Beach, in 1881, the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway, the predecessor of present-day Burroughs & Chapin, acquired a large tract of timbered land. Burroughs and Collins built the Conway & Seashore Railroad to transport timber back inland to Conway on February 28, 1899. The railroad was in daily operations on May 1, 1900. 

Franklin Gorham “Frank” Burroughs (1834-1897) of Burroughs and Collins Company is recognized for having the foresight for transforming the future Myrtle Beach into a tourist mecca for the east coast as Florida’s beaches. The credit for naming Myrtle Beach is attributed to Adeline Cooper Burroughs (1846-1919), Franklin’s wife. She believed locally plentiful wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) bush would be a perfect name. 

Little River Data and some other Interesting Facts

  • Little River’s population, per the 2020 United States Census, was calculated to be 11,711. Per the 2010 United States Census, Little River’s population was calculated to be 8,960. This is a 30.70 percent population growth increase between 2010 and the 2020 and United States Censuses.
  • Per Google Earth Location or Coordinates of Little River – Latitude: 33°52′23.48″ N, Longitude: 78°36′51.05″ W
  • Little River’s Elevation above sea level is 88 feet per Google Earth for the coordinates or location noted above.
  • Per the United States Census Bureau 2015-2019, in 2019 dollars, Little River’s median household income was $54,156.
  • The area codes for Little River are 843 and 854.
  • The ZIP code for Little River is 29566.

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