Cherry Grove Pier a destination for locals and tourists

CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) - If you have bought any type or real estate recently, you probably wish it was as easy as a contract written on a napkin. That's exactly how the Prince family bought the Cherry Grove Pier in 1965.

It was a simple business deal worked out on a napkin at a coffee shop in Loris.

Steve Gann, the manager of the pier says, "Its personality is kind of like its owners. Whenever she got knocked down, we always rebuilt."

The pier was built in 1952 and just two short years later they had to rebuild after Hurricane Hazel. Then from '89 to '99 they had to rebuild 3 more times.

"We had hurricane Hugo, of course everybody remembers that. We had the 'Nor Easter of '92 that took part of it and Hurricane Floyd took about 600 feet of it. Knock on wood we've done very well since then." Gann said.

And no doubt, there are lots of people that are very happy the pier was rebuilt time and time again. Gann would smile or laugh a little at the thought of all the characters he'd see come back to the pier time and time again.

"We have a core group that we have almost every day. And of course every year the same people come back...In fact, some people schedule their vacations around together with people they met on the pier. So they can come back and have that fellowship on the pier fishing…We've had grandfather, father and grandson all coming to the pier and the stories are that their father would bring them when they were little and now they're having the opportunity to bring their children. So I think that has something to do with the longevity of the pier."

Even if you've never walked on its wooden planks, if you live in the Grand Strand, chances are you've sat with your family and enjoyed the firework show on the 4th of July put on by the city from right here on the pier. The sentimental value alone of the pier is priceless.

"We've had people come back for their anniversary. This was the place where they got engaged. You can walk up and down the pier and on the side you can see carvings of initials, and people will come back year to year to see if those initials have survived another year," Gann says. "So it has a lot of deep emotional feelings for a lot of people that come here."

Don't be mistaken, Cherry Grove Pier isn't just about love birds and family photos, some real fishing has been done on this pier. The world record tiger shark was caught here. It was so big it had to be taken to Loris just to be weighed.

Gann said it was caught by Walter Maxwell back in 1964 in June weighing in at 1,780 pounds. Need proof? There's a picture hanging on the wall at the pier.

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