The City Magazine Since 1975

Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire
November 2020

The Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier is more than a local attraction, it’s a Lowcountry icon.

In its approximately 90-year history, the structure has survived one fire and been destroyed by a second. It’s been completely rebuilt once and withstood multiple hurricanes, as well as hosted countless concerts by chart-topping acts, including Jerry Lee Lewis and The Drifters. This fall, work begins on a third pier, which is estimated to cost $14 million and be completed in 28 months. Until then, here’s a look back at the landmark’s place on the Edge of America

  • 1931: The Folly Beach dancing pier was open by the time a pavilion, boardwalk, and oceanfront hotel debuted this year. The original green-and-white structure was built with palmetto logs. It reached 120 feet wide and 97 feet long. 
  • On April 19, 1957, the adjacent pavilion, oceanfront hotel, and Kokomo’s Lounge burned.
  • In 1960, Folly unveiled an improved pier complete with 15 amusement rides, 12 games, and 1 roller skating rink.
  • Following the 1977 fire that destroyed the original structure, Folly would go 18 years without a pier.
  • Charleston County Parks unveiled what we know as the 1,045-foot Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier in 1995.
  • 22 feet: The pier’s height above sea level
  • 134: The number of annual fishing tournaments held on the pier since 1995
  • 44 lbs. 14 oz.: The largest fish reeled in at the pier since 1995 was a king mackerel caught in March 2010.
  • 319: The number of wood pilings being torn down because wood-boring mollusks threatened the pier’s integrity. Once complete, the new pier will have 208 concrete supports.

For updates on the Folly Beach Fishing Pier’s construction, visit