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Folly Beach Pier — Charleston, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County  |  Folly Beach Pier


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Folly Beach Pier

The Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier on Folly Beach was built in 1995 and extends 1,045 feet into the ocean. It culminates in a 7,500 square-foot covered platform that affords an amazing view of sea and sky. Folly was home to two piers before this one. Like today’s pier, they also served as social centers for the island.

Folly Beach Pier SC

Dave Allen of Hendersonville, NC © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The first pier was built in 1931, along with a pavilion, boardwalk, and the Oceanfront Hotel. In those days, you could catch an afternoon or evening concert featuring such big-band giants as Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, and Tommy Dorsey.

Folly Pier

Keith Briley of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

It was also the scene of several beauty contests, one of which was judged by the legendary George Gershwin, who summered on Folly in 1934.

Folly Beach Pierhead

Taylor Franta of Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

That pier burned in 1957 but a new one soon replaced it – surrounded by a 1,700-foot boardwalk and a modern hotel. Called “Oceanfront Plaza,” the area also featured a skating rink, a bowling alley, and a small amusement park complete with a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a merry-go-round.

Folly Beach Pier Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Like its predecessor, the new pier attracted plenty of famous musicians, including The Tams, The Temptations, Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs, The Catalinas, Doug Clark and The Hot Nuts, Jerry Lee Lewis, and even the inimitable Otis Redding.

Folly Beach Pier

Fredric Durrette of Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, young people flocked to the pier to dance the night away. Its giant windows offered wonderful breezes, and you could catch your breath, talk to friends, or share a drink with your date while staring out over the ocean.

Taylor Pier Folly

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Sadly, the pier burned again in 1977 and there were rumors of arson. Folly did not have a pier for the next 18 years.

Folly Beach Fishing Pier

Mark A. Leon of Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In an entirely different vein, the current pier revolves around fishing. At 25 feet wide, it stands 23 feet above sea level. At the foot of the pier, you can also find a sit-down restaurant, an upscale gift shop, rod and tackle rentals and sales, a lower patio space available for rent, beach access, and showers.

Folly Pier from Above

David Kennedy of Lyman, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Charleston County Park & Recreation Department hosts monthly fishing tournaments June through September, and the Big Kahuna tournament is held in August each year. In a nod to Folly’s past, it also hosts Moonlight Mixers once or twice a month during the summer.

More Pictures of the Folly Beach Pier


Folly Pier

Mark VanDyke of Herndon, Va, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Edwon S. Taylor Pier

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier

Fredric Durrette of Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Pier Panorama

Paul Dorroh of Pelion, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier SC

Paul Mulkey of James Island, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Edwin S. Taylor Pier on Folly Beach

Steve DuPree of Charleston, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Pier

Homer M. Pace, III of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier at Sunrise

E. Karl Braun of North Charleston, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier

Julia Laible of Rock Hill, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier SC

Todd Mason of North Charleston, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Pier – Historical Photos


Special thanks to Jerry Braddock Sr. for contributing the snap-shot below of the pier in 1950. He shares, “Thought you might like to see a picture of it I took in 1950 when I was chief lifeguard. I don’t remember the name of the bathing beauty standing between me and the pier.”

Folly Beach Pier in 1950

J. G. (Jerry) Braddock Sr., 1950 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The following three images are from the collection of Maebelle Barnett Bazzel, a lifelong resident of James Island in Charleston County. Most of the views of Folly Beach are from the 1940s-1950s.

Historic Folly Beach

The Folly Pier with Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

The Folly Pier with Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Historic Folly Beach

The Folly Pier with Pavilion, built in 1925 by Ted Shiadaressi, burned down in 1957.
(Contributed by Maebelle Barnett Bazzel of Charleston, 1940s-1950s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent)

Folly Beach Pier Info


Address: 101 East Arctic Avenue, Folly Beach, SC 29439
GPS Coordinates: 32.655207,-79.939803
Website: http://www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?nid=66

Folly Beach Pier Map

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7 Comments about Folly Beach Pier

SCIWAY says:
May 25th, 2017 at 1:19 pm

You are absolutely going to love it! Welcome to the area!

Steven Elliotte says:
May 24th, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I just recently relocated to the South Carolina area and I can’t wait to experience this wonderful beach. I will be exploring real soon.

Steven

tom says:
July 7th, 2016 at 2:52 pm

I remember the plaza from the 1960s and 70s. In the early seventies high tide was right up against, and at times, splashing over the plaza wall. By the mid-seventies the amusement park and the pavilion as a whole were falling into disrepair. The pier was missing many boards and was kind of dangerous. However, it was open for fishing to the public. It was around those days that attendance was starting to fall off. The 1977 pavilion fire seemed to be the final nail. They tried bringing it back in the early eighties with some concerts, but the county park seemed to be the new attraction and people started going there instead.

Judy M K Hollandsworth says:
February 26th, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Day Dreamin'………:)

Maebelle Barnett Bazzel says:
January 31st, 2014 at 1:09 am

The pier did not burn twice. The Pavilion was built in 1925, and it was the one that burned in 1957; a temporary one was built and opened that summer in June of 1957. The Plaza opened in 1960 with a new Pavilion, cement boardwalk, arcade and other buildings. The large pier, over the water, was built in 1931 and was remodeled in 1960. It burned in 1977, and the plaza just didn’t make a go of it after that.

SCIWAY says:
September 18th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Hi, Allison! I am posting a link to the town website. Hopefully, you can find answers to your questions there. If you happen to get any good photos of the pier, we would love to share them!

http://www.follybeach.com/pier.php

Allison Mcgee says:
September 18th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I am in a wheelchair and I have been to the pier a couple times. I was wondering if I and a few other people could come and enjoy the fishing and view. How much would it cost for us to fish? If so, is there a discount for a group or being handicapped? Thanks Allison Mcgee




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