Inventory of the Sherry A. Suttles Collection of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, 1929 - 2009

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Sherry A. Suttles (1948-), an African-American, was a former government administrator, entrepreneur, and historian who established the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic Beach Historical Society (ABHS, 2001) in Horry County, South Carolina. Established in the 1930s, Atlantic Beach became a vacation mecca for African-Americans during segregation. The Atlantic Beach Company, comprised of physicians from North Carolina and South Carolina, expanded development from 1943 until 1956. Known as "The Black Pearl," vacationers traveled by the busload for the fishing, swimming, Rhythm & Blues beach music and dancing. The Town of Atlantic Beach was chartered in 1966 with Emery Gore and Millard Rucker as its initial mayors, is one of the few African-American owned and governed oceanfront communities in the United States. Thousand of tourists continue to flock to Atlantic Beach for the nationally recognized African-American motorcycle event, BikeFest (also known as Black Bikers Week) held annually during the Memorial Day weekend.
The collection documents Suttles' personal and professional life along with her consulting and grant writing business, Suttles Management Associates, Inc. (SMA, Inc.). The majority of the collection holds documents, visual and audio recordings relating to the establishment, organization and functions of the Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc. Also, included are recorded histories ("The Colored Wall Oral History Project") from former and present residents of Atlantic Beach. This compilation was expanded into a public exhibit, "The Black Pearl: A Celebration of the Times and Lives of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina," highlighting the historical significance of the town. Of note is Suttles' extensive research and manuscript for the published book, "Images of America: Atlantic Beach (2009). The second half of the collection focuses on The Town of Atlantic Beach as it relates to it's administration. Also, included are materials pertaining to BikeFest and Suttles' ABHS sponsored programs during this annual event.
Title: Sherry A. Suttles Collection of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina
Call Number: AMN 1080
Repository: Avery Research Center
Dates: 1929-2008
Bulk: 2001-2007
Creator: Suttles, Sherry A., 1948-
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 14.2 Linear feet
(17 archival boxes)

Arrangement note

1. Biographical Materials

2. Atlantic Beach Organizations

3. The Town of Atlantic Beach

4. Subject Files

Sources consulted by Georgette Mayo

1. King, P. Nicole. Sombreros and Motorcycles in a Newer South: The Politics of Aesthetics in South Carolina's Tourism Industry. Jackson (MS): The University of Mississippi, 2012.

2. Suttles, Sherry A. "Columbia 1968: Student Revolutionary to Lifelong Fighter for Justice." 24-27 Apr. 2008. Web. 12 Mar 2014, //

3. Suttles, Sherry A. and The Atlantic Beach Historical Society. Images of America: Atlantic Beach. Charleston (SC): Arcadia Publishing, 2009.

Biographical/Historical note

Sherry A. Suttles (1948-) was born in Chicago, Illinois to Ann E. and Nathaniel Suttles. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Suttles attended Barnard College, (Columbia University, New York) majoring in government. She obtained a Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1971. With extensive experience in town and city management, Suttles became the first African-American female city manager in Oberlin, Ohio (1979-1981). In 1982, Suttles worked as a Government Relations Director with the United Way in Cleveland, Ohio. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, several city management positions would follow in Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina and Lawrence Township, New Jersey. During Suttles tenure in Charlotte, she established a grant writing consultant company; Suttles Management Associates, Incorporated (SMA, Inc.). After a bout with breast cancer, Suttles retired from local government management in 1998.

Suttles utilized her governmental skills to launch major historical initiatives throughout the state of South Carolina, namely in the Town of Atlantic Beach. In 2000, Suttles was recruited to apply for the Atlantic Beach town manager position. Upon discovering the history of the oceanfront community, Suttles instead joined efforts with Jim Goodman on the community based Restore Historic Atlantic Beach (ReHAB). Fulfilling a need, Suttles established the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce to assist in lobbying for the town's tourism and business interests. Concurrently, Suttles created her flagship organization, The Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc. Suttles eventually ran and was elected to the Atlantic Beach Town Council in 2003, but due to purported alleged voter fraud, she was officially seated in 2005.

The Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc. (ABHS), a 501 (c)3 citizen-based organization was established in June 2001 to counter the Town of Atlantic Beach's neglect in establishing a historical preservation and cultural committee. As founding president, Sherry Suttles and the ABHS sought "To preserve the history of the Coastal Carolina African American Heritage through oral histories and memorabilia, year-round family events, and personal and real property." Through the ABHS's numerous accomplishments Suttles obtained a historical marker for Atlantic Beach, and published the book, "Images of America: Atlantic Beach."

Fondly referred to as "The Black Pearl," Atlantic Beach was initially developed in 1934 by George W. and Roxie Ballen Tyson as an oceanfront community for African-Americans denied access to surrounding Myrtle Beach area beaches due to segregation. A decade later (1943) the co-founders of the Atlantic Beach Company; James Ward Seabrook, Ph.D, Robert Keith Gordon, and Dr. Peter C. Kelly, III purchased additional tracts for development. From the 1930s to the 1970s, "The Black Pearl" was one of the most popular beach resorts on the East Coast for African-Americans. Black tourists populated the available hotels, night clubs, restaurants, retails stores, and pavilion every May to September. The Town of Atlantic Beach incorporated on June 30, 1966. Prior to this date, Atlantic Beach had no town government elected officials, mayor, or town council, nor any property taxes, police, fire departments, or building inspectors. Yet the non-governed community survived and thrived. In the 2000s, Atlantic Beach produced BikeFest, an annual event that would bring the town national attention. Presently, Atlantic Beach is signified as one of the remaining African-American owned and governed oceanfront communities in the United States.

Collection Overview

The collection contains materials gathered and produced by Sherry Suttles and other entities during the 2000s. Included are brief materials relating to Suttles personal and professional life. The bulk of the collection's materials are derived from the establishment of several community based organizations within the Town of Atlantic Beach, with the Atlantic Beach Historical Society being the largest. Numerous records document the Town of Atlantic Beach administration, including the Offices of the Mayor and Town Manager, along with materials from the Town Council. Also, records and photographs document the history of BikeFest, the Town's major annual event, (1999-2000). A smaller series contains general subject files as it relates to Atlantic Beach, Horry County and surrounding South Carolina areas.

The collection is divided into four series:

1. Biographical Materials holds Suttles personal and professional documents; biographical sketches, correspondence, legal documents, and photographs. Also, included are materials pertaining to her business, Suttles Management Associates, Inc. (SMS, Inc.). Of note is Suttles' consulting involvement with Freewoods Foundation and Farm, a "living farm museum" based on agricultural practices of African-Americans post-Civil War.

2. Atlantic Beach Organizations contains materials (administrative documents, correspondence, grant proposals, financial statements, event flyers, newspaper articles, exhibit text panels, and audio/visual materials) regarding organizations originated solely or in part by Suttles to facilitate historic preservation and the promotion of tourism in Atlantic Beach, including the organizations of Restore Historic Atlantic Beach (ReHAB), the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce and mainly, the Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc. (ABHS), in which Suttles was founder and president. Several aspects of note includes Suttles' initiatives, "The Colored Wall Oral History Project," and the subsequent exhibit, "The Black Pearl: A Celebration of the Times and Lives of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina." In addition to recordings of the orals histories of former Atlantic Beach residents, this series holds the text panels used in the exhibit. Of note are materials pertaining to the establishment of a historical marker (2005) for Atlantic Beach. Among the numerous events held in Atlantic Beach, the ABHS organized a 40th Anniversary six month celebration commemorating the town's incorporation (1966). Highlights include materials from a trip to American Beach, and remembrance of MaVynee Betsch, aka "The Beach Lady." Betsch sought to preserve her families' beach community on Amelia Island established in 1935, and was the inspiration for Suttles to preserve the history of Atlantic Beach. Included in "Preserving Memories..." are original documents pertaining to Atlantic Beach properties and businesses owned by Esau Jenkins, a civil rights activist from Johns Island, South Carolina.

3. The Town of Atlantic Beach series comprises documents (administrative documents, correspondence, statistical reports, meeting agendas and minutes, financial statements, court documents, event flyers, and newspaper articles) regarding the town government with sub-series on the Office of the Mayor (mainly Irene Armstrong); the Town Manager (specifically Carolyn Montgomery); the Housing Authority of Atlantic Beach; and Town Council featuring a section regarding the contentious election involving Suttles and several other candidates. BikeFest, Atlantic Beach's annual event is represented through organizational documents (correspondence, memorandums, event programs, newspaper articles and photographs) from 1999-2006. Suttles' ABHS partnered with the Town for several years featuring special events for children and adults, namely Children's BikeFest (2002).

4. Subject Files includes mostly magazine and/or newspaper articles regarding various topics relating directly/indirectly to Atlantic Beach and Suttles interests.

Subject Headings

  • Tyson, George W., 1890-1967
  • Tyson, Roxie Ballen, 1889-1973
  • African American Beaches.
  • African American politics--Atlantic Beach--South Carolina
  • African American--recreation
  • American Beach--Amelia Island--Florida
  • Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce--South Carolina
  • Atlantic Beach Company--South Carolina
  • Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc.--South Carolina
  • African Americans--South Carolina--Atlantic Beach--History.
  • Atlantic Beach (S.C.)
  • BikeFest--Atlantic Beach--South Carolina
  • Freewoods Foundation.
  • Horry County (S.C.)
  • Myrtle Beach (S.C.)
  • Restore Historic Atlantic Beach (ReHAB)--South Carolina

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1996-2008.

Contains several sub-series: Personal Materials, Personal Correspondence, Professional Materials, and Legal Documents holding biographical sketches; documents pertaining to Suttle's business, Suttles Management Associates, Incorporated (SMA, Inc.), correspondence, and photographs.

1.1 Personal Materials, 1998-2007 and undated.

Box 1   Folder 1
Biographical sketches and vita, 1998-2004, undated
Includes professional photographs of Suttles and her son Kamau, and business cards
Box 1   Folder 2
Education, 2001, 2006-2007, undated
Contains materials regarding Suttles' tenure and as an alum at Barnard College, New York.
Box 1   Folder 3
Art collection, 2005
Contains documents regarding the description of Suttles' African art collection.
Box 1   Folder 4
Family photographs, undated
Mostly unidentifed.

1.2 Personal Correspondence, 1996-2007.

Box 1   Folder 5
Letters sent by Suttles, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2007
Box 1   Folder 6
Letters to Suttles, 2001-2003, 2007
Box 1   Folder 7
Emails received and sent by Suttles, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007
Box 1   Folder 8
Handwritten notes, 2002, 2006, undated

1.3 Professional Materials, 1996-2007.

Documents pertaining to Suttles' freelance grant writing and strategic planning company, Suttles Management Associates, Incorporated (SMA, Inc.)
Box 1   Folder 9
Documents regarding Suttles Management Associates, Inc.(SMA, Inc.), undated
Includes business statement and deliverables; letters to clients, and brochures.
Box 1   Folder 10
SMA, Inc: Freewoods Foundation, 1996-2005
Contains documents pertaining to Suttles consultant work with Freewoods Foundation. Includes materials regarding the establishment and overview of Freewoods Farm; grant applicants w/proposals, correspondence, newspaper articles.
Box 1   Folder 11
SMA, Inc.: Freewoods Farm, 2001-2007
Includes correspondence (letters and emails) promotional flyers, event programs, pamphlets and newspaper articles regarding Suttles involvement with the organization.
Box 1   Folder 12
Freewoods Farms: Photographs, c. 2001-2007
Mostly unidentifed photos of events and activities at Freewood.
Box 1   Folder 13
SMA, Inc.: Jenkins Orphanage, 2004-2007, undated
Includes correspondence and documents pertaining to the establishment of a historical marker.

1.4 Legal Documents, 2004-2008.

Comprises police and court documents filed by Suttles regarding assaults made against her.
Box 1   Folder 14
General police reports, 2004, 2007
Box 1   Folder 15
Suttles v. Woods, 2006
Documents and photographs regarding a assault and battery charge against Suttles by Earlene Woods. Includes Suttles "recollection" of event, court documents, correspondence, and emails.
Box 1   Folder 16
Suttles v. Woods, 2007
Documents pertaining to the continuation of legal case originating in 2006.
Box 1   Folder 17
Suttles v. Woods, 2008
Court documents and correspondence pertaining to the continuance of 2006 case.

Series 2: Atlantic Beach Organizations, 1929-2009.

Contains materials regarding organizations originated solely or in part by Suttles to facilitate historic preservation and the promotion of tourism in Atlantic Beach. Includes the organizations of Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce; Restore Historic Atlantic Beach (ReHab); and mainly the Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc. in which Suttles was founder and president.

2.1 Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), 2001-2007, undated.

Following the 2001 BikeFest, Suttles began the process of forming the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce to assist in lobbying for the town's specific tourism and business interests. Each folder contains various administration documents, correspondence, newsletters, newspaper articles and financial statements.
Box 2   Folder 1
ABCC Origination and administrative papers, 2001
Includes the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), Inc. Constitution and By-Laws, South Carolina State Certificate of Incorporation, correspondence and inventory of Atlantic Beach businesses.
Box 2   Folder 2
ABCC Gospel Reggae Festival and Special Events, 2001-2002
Contains promotional event flyers and tickets.
Box 2   Folder 3
ABCC, 2002
Includes job position description and event flyers.
Box 2   Folder 4
ABCC, 2003-2004
Includes correspondence, newsletter, media list and promotional materials regarding Memorial Day BikeFest. regarding BikeFest: also review Box 16, Folders 5-6.
Box 2   Folder 5
ABCC, 2005-2006
Box 2   Folder 6
ABCC Financial statements, 2001-2007
Box 2   Folder 7
South Carolina Black Chamber of Commerce (SCBCC), 2001, undated
Contains brochure and event flyer.

2.2 Restore Historic Atlantic Beach (ReHAB), 2000-2007.

A precursor to the Atlantic Beach Historical Society, the nonprofit Re-HAB charge was to assist in the renovation of historical structures native to the Beach community. Includes administrative documents and correspondence.
Box 2   Folder 8
ReHAB, 2000
Includes Constitution and By-Laws and documents pertaining to non-profit status incorporation.
Box 2   Folder 9
ReHAB, 2001, 2007
Includes documents regarding the historic recognition of Hotel Marshall, listing of board members and proposed work plan report. Includes unidentified color photographs.

2.3 Atlantic Beach Community Organizations, 2002-2007.

Includes community-led citizen groups, "Atlantic Beach Concerned Citizens," and "Atlantic Beach-Change!" (AB-C!). Suttles was organizationally involved in the latter group.
Box 2   Folder 10
Atlantic Beach Concerned Citizens, 2002-2003, undated
Box 2   Folder 11
AB-Change! (AB-C!), 2006-2007
Holds "Purpose and Structure;" press releases, flyers and AB real estate listings.

2.4 Atlantic Beach Historical Society, Inc (ABHS) Administrative Papers, 1929-2009, undated.

Originated by Suttles, this nonprofit organization sought to preserve the history of Atlantic Beach. This sub-series with sub-groups contains incorporation and administrative documents, memorandums, correspondence and emails, event flyers, newspaper articles, photographs and audio materials.

2.4.1 ABHS: Administration, 2001-2008.

Box 2   Folder 12
ABHS: Constitution and By-Laws, 2001-2002
Includes board of directors list.
Box 2   Folder 13
ABHS: State and Federal Incorporation papers, 2001
Contains South Carolina State articles of incorporation and certificate of existence documents (2001, 2007).
Box 2   Folder 14
ABHS: General administration papers, 2001
Includes notices of board meetings, newsletter and redevelopment planning maps.
Box 2   Folder 15
ABHS: State and Federal Incorporation papers, 2002
Includes internal revenue service applications/forms.
Box 3   Folder 1
ABHS: General administration papers, January-May, 2002
Includes drafts of "Letters to the Editor;" and media lists.
Box 3   Folder 2
ABHS: General administration papers, June-December2002
Includes news releases and priority lists.
Box 3   Folder 3
ABHS: General administration papers, 2003
Contains memorandums regarding Bike Week; signed petition lists; South Carolina State Trademark Registration for "Save Atlantic Beach" project.
Box 3   Folder 4
ABHS: General administration papers, 2004
Contains organizational description of mission and accomplishments; and annual financial reports for charitable organizations.
Box 3   Folder 5
ABHS: General administration papers, 2005
Includes Suttles formal letter of resignation from ABHS; and IRS forms.
Box 3   Folder 6
ABHS: General administration papers, 2006
Contains documents regarding the preparation for Atlantic Beach's 40th Anniversary celebration.
Box 3   Folder 7
ABHS: General administration papers, 2007
Contains new promotional brochure; correspondence w/emails regarding the demolition of 15 vacant buildings; and AB property ownership and location information. Also refer to folder "ABHS Events: "SunFun: Preserving Memory" program 2007; Box Folder .
Box 3   Folder 8
ABHS: General administration papers, 2008
Contains Suttles' correspondence with the IRS.
Box 3   Folder 9
ABHS: Financial Documents, 2002-2007
Mainly checking statements with deposit and withdrawal receipts.
Box 3   Folder 10
ABHS: Financial Documents, 2004-2005
Contains invoices and general receipts.
Box 3   Folder 11
ABHS: Demographics and Statistics, 2000, 2002, 2005 and undated
Includes AB community background description from the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
Box 3   Folder 12
ABHS: Mailing Lists, 2001, 2003 and undated
Includes businesses and individual addresses.
Box 3   Folder 13
ABHS: Various documents, undated

2.4.2 ABHS: Events and Public Programs, 1968-2007.

Contains materials regarding the numerous ABHS sponsored community events and projects highlighting pioneering individuals groups and the historic significance of Atlantic Beach. General Programs, 2001-2007.

Box 4   Folder 1
ABHS: Luegenia Walker Marshall Day, 2001
Contains documents and color photographs regarding the commemorative event of owner and operator of Marshall's Hotel, with joint proclamation and Marshall's funeral program.
Box 4   Folder 2
ABHS: Gore/Rucker Leadership Awards, 2001-2003
Contains documents regarding awards to Atlantic Beach's history makers from 1996-1998, including greetings from South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges.
Box 4   Folder 3
ABHS: "Remember the Pearl," booksigning, 2002
Contains email correspondence regarding image reproductions and promotional flyers regarding Susan Hoffer McMillan's book signing of "Myrtle Beach and Conway in Vintage Postcards," and RSVP confirmation listing/notes of attendees.
Box 4   Folder 4
ABHS: Maids Day Celebration, 2002
Contains promotional documents regarding the commemoration of former maids who worked on July 4th, and celebrated the holiday on July 6th. Includes illustrated excerpts from ABHS's coloring book and handwritten essays from children.
Box 4   Folder 5
ABHS: Historic Atlantic Beach Tour and Book, 2002
Includes "introduction" and script featuring historic buildings native and locations native to the Beach community.
Box 4   Folder 6
ABHS: Labor Day Celebration, 2002
Includes Resolution from Horry County Council.
Box 4   Folder 7
ABHS: Coastal Carolinas International Heritage Festival, 2003
Includes preliminary schedules and budgets; pre-registration forms; performer contracts; promotional flyers; official event programs, post-event debriefing memorandum and color photographs of performers and event.
Box 4   Folder 8
ABHS: SunFun Festival-"Celebrate US!-Unity on the Strand", 2003
Contains planning documents for event; grant application package to the City of Myrtle Beach.
Box 4   Folder 9
ABHS: SunFun Festival-"Celebrate Us" event, 2004-2005
Contains planning correspondence for 5 June 2004 event; parade float participant waivers; and vendor pre-registration forms.
Box  4   Folder 10
ABHS: SunFun Festival-Photographs, 2004
Box 4   Folder 11
ABHS: Holiday Game Night, 2004
Promoted as a ABHS fundraiser includes correspondence, event flyers and thank you notes to donors.
Box 4   Folder 12
ABHS: Gullah Geechee Festival, 2004-2007
Includes performers contracts, newspaper articles and color laser copies of photos.
Box 4   Folder 13
ABHS: Gullah Geechee Festival-Photographs, 2004-2007 ABHS: Atlantic Beach 40th Anniversary Commemoration, 1968-2006.

Contains materials relating to a series of special events, spanning over several months in commemoration of the Beach's anniversary.
Box 4   Folder 14
"A Child's Revue of Atlantic Beach", 2005-2006
Includes audition flyer and script of play.
Box 4   Folder 15
Atlantic Beach 40th Anniversary, 2006
Includes correspondence and flyers regarding commemorative events which took place throughout the year. Also contains a copy of the original charter to the Town of Atlantic Beach by the state of South Carolina regarding the Town's Charter Day 20 June 1966.
Box 4   Folder 16
Trip to American Beach, Amelia Island, Florida, 2006
Contains materials regarding the celebration of MaVynee Betsch, aka "The Beach Lady," who sought to preserve her family's beach community on Amelia Island, established in 1935, and the inspiration for Suttles to preserve the history of Atlantic Beach. Items include "American Beach Museum Narrative," magazine articles; brochures; funeral program for Betsch (2005); American Beach Property Owners Association souvenier canvas bag; laser photos of Suttle's trip; and materials from a conference on African American beach resorts.
Box  4   Folder 17
American Beach Trip-Photographs, 2006
Box 5   Folder 1
SunFun Festival: "Preserving Memories and Da-De-Da, 2007
Box 5   Folder 2
ABHS: Esau Jenkins' Property, 1968-1984, 2003, undated
Documents used in "Preserving Memories" symposium. Contains Suttles' letter to the Town of Atlantic Beach advocating against the demolition of Jenkins' property on 31st Avenue, a restaurant and motel operated by his heirs (2003). Includes business cards, licences, permits, and room reservation cards (1968-1984). Also contains Jenkins funeral notice (1972); and civil rights pamphlets (undated). *Note* Documents are in fragile condition due to fire damage.

2.4.3 ABHS: Special Projects, 2000-2007.

Holds documents and museum exhibit text panels for projects for the "Historic Motel Row Project;" "The Colored Wall Oral History Project;" and "The Black Pearl: A Celebration of the Times and Lives of Atlantic Beach South Carolina." "The Colored Wall Oral History Project", 2002-2003.

A project which was funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission, The Humanities Council of South Carolina and Waccamaw Community Foundation. Includes transcripts and recordings of interview of former residents of Atlantic Beach and correspondence regarding project.
Box 5   Folder 3
Proposal to The Humanities Council of South Carolina, 2002-2004
Contains grant related documents with subsequent award to the ABHS for "The Colored Wall-The History of Atlantic Beach, SC-Through the Voices of Its Elders."
Box 5   Folder 4
Proposal South Carolina Arts Commission, 2002-2005
Contains grant application, subsequent award with correspondence and reports for "The Colored Wall: Atlantic Beach Arts Renaissance" project for the purchase and renovation of two historic motels, converting them into "Arts boutique" motels.
Box 5   Folder 5
Proposal to Waccamaw Community Foundation,, 2002-2003
Applications to smaller granting agencies for "The Colored Wall" project.
Box 5   Folder 6
Oral History Transcripts, 2002-2003
Contains typed transcripts with consent forms for the Atlantic Beach Oral History Project. Also includes three (3) CDs of the interviews. **Note**Box 10 holds oral history interviews on cassette tapes.
Box 5   Folder 7
Correspondence, September-December, 2002
Contains letters and emails regarding oral history interviews; materials regarding "Oral History Training Project." "The Black Pearl: A Celebration of the Times and Lives of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina," exhibit, 2002-2003.

An ABHS photographic exhibit held at the Horry County Museum (1 May-31 July 2003). The exhibit also includes text excerpts from the "The Colored Wall" interviews with photographs of the interviewees (unidentifed).
Box 6   Folder 1
Exhibit documents, 2002-2003
Contains correspondence regarding exhibit planning; invitations and promotional flyers; "The Black Pearl" narrative originally written for Afro-Fest (1994); newspaper articles; highlight featured indigo textile artist, Arianne King Comer; and guest sign-in sheets.
Box  6   Folder 2
Photographs, 2003
Color images of exhibit opening at the Horry County Museum, 1 May 2003.
Box  6   Folder 3
Exhibit text panels, 2003
Contains lead panel ("The Black Pearl") and three (3) panels of "The Origins of Atlantic Beach: Excerpts from "The Black Pearl: A History..."
Box  6   Folder 4
Photographic exhibit panels, 2003
Four (4) unidentified images (7x9 1/2) of "The Colored Wall" interviewees.
Box  6   Folder 5
Photographic exhibit panels, 2003
Box  6   Folder 6
Exhibit text panels for "The Colored Wall", 2003
Includes paper version of text panels (8 1/2 x 11) featuring excerpts of interviews conducted in 2002.
Box  7   Folder 1
Exhibit text panels for "The Colored Wall", 2003
Box  7   Folder 2
Exhibit text panels for "The Colored Wall", 2003
Five (5) text panels (8 1/2 x 11)featuring quotes from interviewees.
Box  7   Folder 3
Exhibit text panels for "The Colored Wall", 2003
Six (6) panels featuring interviewee quotes. Atlantic Beach Historical Marker, 2002-2005.

Holds documents regarding the establishment of a marker from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Box 7   Folder 4
Correspondence, 2002-2005
Includes South Carolina State resolution for Atlantic Beach's "historic site designation;" drafts of text for marker and several color photographs.
Box 7   Folder 5
Unveiling of Historic Marker, 22 May, 2005
Includes invitations; newspaper articles and resolution w/ "Greetings" from South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, and color photographs.

2.4.4 ABHS Grant Proposals and Award Nominations, 2000-2008.

Contains potential grant applications/proposals written to support ABHS programs. Also includes nomination materials for the South Carolina African-American Heritage Commission.
Box 7   Folder 6
Historic Motel Row, 2000-2004
Holds documents solicited to numerous financial institutions and granting agencies for the renovation of Hotel Marshall, Parkview, E&E Parmely and Skeeters Motels.
Box 8   Folder 1
City of Myrtle Beach Accommodations Tax Grant Application, 2002
Box 8   Folder 2
Various Grant Applications, 2001, 2003-2005
Includes grant applications/proposals to Waccamaw Community Foundation; The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation; Public Welfare Foundation; Babcock Foundation and Wachovia Bank.
Box 8   Folder 3
Beach Music Association International, 2006
Grant application to the South Carolina Arts Commission with ABHS functioning as the fiscal agent.
Box 8   Folder 4
Beach Music Association International, 2002-2008
Supporting documents/research for grant proposal. Contains newspaper articles, essays, and flyers regarding Beach Music performers and the history of "The Shag."
Box 8   Folder 5
South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Award, 2006-2007
Contains emails, application and supporting documents for the "Preserving Our Places in History Award." Also includes the award certificate to the ABHS and event program.

2.4.5 ABHS Research and Publication Drafts, 1929-2009, undated.

Includes Suttles' drafts of the manuscript initially titled, "The Black Pearl: A 40th Anniversary Memoir." The book was eventually published as as pictorial, "Images of America: Atlantic Beach."
Box 8   Folder 6
Manuscript drafts of "The Black Pearl", 2006
Contains handwritten outline with full and partial typescript of chapters regarding the history of Atlantic Beach. Includes a reviewer's comments.
Box 8   Folder 7
Manuscript research: Index to Deeds, 1929-1957
Holds deed index of Atlantic Beach Company lands owners. Also includes 1930 census/population schedules for the same.
Box 8   Folder 8
Manuscript research: Deeds, 1941-1945
Photocopies of deeds conveying property from George W. Tyson to James Ward Seabrook president of Atlantic Beach Company.
Box 8   Folder 9
Manuscript research: Biographical information, 1974, 1987, 2002, 2005
Contains biographical sketches w/dissertation of James Ward Seabrook and handwritten notes regarding Robert Gordon.
Box 8   Folder 10
Correspondence regarding Atlantic Beach book publication, 2004-2005
Includes publishing agreement w/Joggling Board Press and newspaper articles.
Box 8   Folder 11
Correspondence regarding "Images of America Atlantic Beach" publication, 2006, 2008-2009
Includes letters and emails regarding the publishing cancellation from Joggling Board, Inc., and the subsequent publishing of "Atlantic Beach" by Arcadia Publishing. Also contains page proofs and signed photograph release forms.
Box 8   Folder 12
Photographs, undated
Contains photographs (originals and photocopies) of images used in the Atlantic Beach publication.

2.4.6 ABHS Photographic Material and Audio Recordings, 2002-2008, undated.

This subseries is divided in two sections, photographic and video tapes highlighting ABHS events (mostly unidentifed).
Box  9
Photographs, 2002-2008, undated
Contains mostly unidentifed color images of the Atlantic Beach community and ABHS sponsored events.
Box  10
Video tapes and audio recordings, 2002, 2004, 2006, undated
Holds VHS tapes, DVD-CDs and cassette tapes of The Colored Wall Oral History interviews (Etrulia Dozier, Janie Isom, Willie L. Isom, Alice Graham, William P. Johnson, Carrie Rucker, Russell Skeeters, and Earline Woods, 2002). Also, includes a VHS tape of "Black Bike Week 2004."

Series 3: The Town of Atlantic Beach, 1967-2008, undated.

This series contains documents and related materials regarding the town government with sub-series on the Mayor and Town Manager; the Housing Authority of Atlantic Beach; Town Council and Elections; and Public Programs and Events including "BikeFest."

3.1 The Town of Atlantic Beach Administrative Papers, 1977-2008.

Contains meeting agendas and minutes, reports, memorandums, correspondence and related newspaper articles regarding to the functions of the Town, organized by year date.
Box 11   Folder 1
Planning Grant Application: "A Community Revitalization Project", 1977
Authored by Atlantic Beach Beach Development Corporation.
Box 11   Folder 2
Mayor and Town Council meeting minutes, 1988
Box 11   Folder 3
Mayor and Town Council meeting minutes, 1989
Includes report, "Atlantic Beach: A Resort Community Development Plan."
Box 11   Folder 4
Planning Commission reports, 1998-2006
Contains memorandums, letters and meeting agendas.
Box 11   Folder 5
Contract: "Agreement for Consulting Services for the Town of Atlantic Beach", 2000
Box 11   Folder 6
Special Session meeting agendas and minutes, 2001
Also contains report on the Town's borrowing history, 1975-2001.
Box 11   Folder 7
Special Session meeting agendas and minutes, 2002
Includes request for meeting forms and Atlantic Beach Community Center rental agreement.
Box 11   Folder 8
"The Business License Ordinances of Atlantic Beach", 2002-2006
Box 11   Folder 9
The Atlantic Beach Police Department, 2002-2007
Includes crime reports; newspaper articles; alert flyers; memorandums; letters and emails.
Box 11   Folder 10
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, 2002-2007
Includes memorandums, "Special Resource Study" by the national Park Service; press releases, emails and newspaper articles.
Box 11   Folder 11
Annual Budget report, 2003-2004
Includes Special Session meeting agendas and minutes.
Box 11   Folder 12
Special Session meeting agendas and minutes, 2004
Includes Public Safety Director employment agreement, and letter to AB business owners.
Box 11   Folder 13
Ocean Boulevard, 2004, 2007, undated
Includes meeting minutes, letters, emails and reports by Sherry Suttles.
Box 11   Folder 14
Financial: Profit and Loss reports, 2005
Also contains memorandums, and Special Session meeting agendas and minutes.
Box 11   Folder 15
Atlantic Beach Community Cares project: "Boys to Men", 2005
Includes emails, promotional flyers and correspondence to and from Suttles regarding this event.
Box 11   Folder 16
Grant funding opportunities, 2003, 2005-2006, undated
Includes grant applications and correspondence.
Box 11   Folder 17
"Summary of Atlantic Beach Municipal Court", 2006
Also contains proposal for AB Historical Preservation Program; information regarding Town's Master Plan; memorandums; letters and event flyers.
Box 11   Folder 18
Olatunji International School, 2006
Re an African American Heritage packet for the Smart Start School Return program sponsored by the Town of AB.
Box 11   Folder 19
Town of Atlantic Tour and Retreat, 2006
Includes agenda, annual budget (2005-2006); and Suttles handwritten notes.
Box 12   Folder 1
One H.O.O.D (One Company Helping Our Own Develop) organization, 2006
Contains correspondence.
Box 12   Folder 2
Atlantic Beach businesses and restaurants, 2001-2007
Contains "Letter of Intent" regarding The Jerk Place Restaurant; a civil action suit regarding Crazy Horse Saloon vs. Town of AB; permissions to open/expand businesses; and newspaper articles.
Box 12   Folder 3
Maps and plats of Atlantic Beach and North Myrtle Beach, undated
Box 12   Folder 4
The Community Development Black Grant Program, 2006-2006
A demolition project includes grant proposal; award letter; memorandums; project contract and newspaper articles.
Box 12   Folder 5
Special Workshop Meeting & Public Hearing, 2007
Includes memorandums, Town newsletter; event flyers; emails; and newspaper articles.
Box 12   Folder 6
Master Plan Executive Summary, 2007
Includes final draft of design guidelines by Zyscovich, Inc.; emails and DVD-CD.
Box 12   Folder 7
Budget Retreat materials, 2007-2008
Box 12   Folder 8
Newspaper articles, 2008
Articles regarding AB employees printed from the Internet.
Box 12   Folder 9
Various documents regarding the Town of Atlantic Beach, undated

3.2 Town of Atlantic Beach: "BikeFest", 1999-2008, and undated.

Folders contain a variety of organizational documents (correspondence, memorandums, event programs); newspaper articles and photographs highlighting Atlantic Beach's major annual event typically held during Memorial Day weekend. Suttles' ABHS partnered with the Town of AB for several years to feature special events for children and adults. This sub-series also includes a folder on the Harley Davidson Spring Biker Rally (2001-2008).
Box 13   Folder 1
BikeFest, 1999
Box 13   Folder 2
BikeFest, 2001
Box 13   Folder 3
BikeFest, 2002
Box 13   Folder 4
ABHS Children's BikeFest, 2002
Box 13   Folder 5
BikeFest, 2003
Box 13   Folder 6
BikeFest, 2004
Box 13   Folder 7
BikeFest, 2005
Box 13   Folder 8
BikeFest, 2006
Box 13   Folder 9
BikeFest, 2007
Box 13   Folder 10
BikeFest, 2008
Box 13   Folder 11
Various materials, undated
Includes surveys, local laws regarding BikeFest, and pamphlets.
Box 13   Folder 12
Photographs from various BikeFest events, undated
Box 13   Folder 13
Harley Davidson Spring Biker Rally, 2001-2005
Holds newspaper articles and brochures.

3.3 Officers and Offices of the Town of Atlantic Beach, 1981-2008.

Includes sub-series of the Office of the Mayor; Town Manager; and Housing Authority of Atlantic Beach.

3.3.1 Office of the Mayor, 2003-2008.

Includes memorandums; correspondence and newspaper articles mostly by and about Mayor Irene Armstrong.
Box 14   Folder 1
Mayoral race candidates, 2003 and undated
Includes newspaper articles; candidate flyers, several w/biographical sketches.
Box 14   Folder 2
Mayor Irene Armstrong, 2003-2004
Includes memorandums and letters written by the Mayor; and newspaper articles.
Box 14   Folder 3
Mayor Irene Armstrong, 2005-2006
Contains correspondence, newspaper articles regarding Armstrong v. Carolyn Montgomery,
Box 14   Folder 4
Mayor Irene Armstrong, 2007-2008
Holds correspondence, newspaper articles and "Decision and Order: Suttles vs. Armstrong," regarding conflict of interest.
Box 14   Folder 5
State of South Carolina State Ethics Commission, 2005-2008
Investigation and eventual vindication of Mayor Armstrong. Holds complaint form, newspaper articles and letters from Ethics Commission addressed to Suttles.
Box 14   Folder 6
Mayoral Race Candidates, 2008
Includes newspaper articles; candidate flyers, several w/biographical sketches.

3.3.2 Office of Town Manager, 2000-2008.

Contains correspondence, court documents and newspaper articles mostly regarding Carolyn Montgomery.
Box 14   Folder 7
Carolyn Montgomery, 2000-2003
Includes letters; emails; newspaper articles; signed petitions regarding the removal of Montgomery from office; and State Ethics Commission investigation, Johnson v. Montgomery.
Box 14   Folder 8
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit, 2002-2006
Contains correspondence and request forms, mostly originated and addressed to Suttles.
Box 14   Folder 9
Documents from the Office of the Town Manager, 2004-2005
Includes Town Meeting agenda and minutes; newspaper articles; memorandums; emails; formal complaints and police incident reports from Suttles; documents regarding Atlantic Beach Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit originated by Suttles and William P. Johnson v. The Town of Atlantic Beach..
Box 14   Folder 10
"Temporary Restraining Orders", 2005
Contains court documents to Montgomery.
Box 14   Folder 11
Town Manager search, 2005-2008
Includes resumes; letters; memorandums; emails, and newspaper articles.

3.3.3 Housing Authority of Atlantic Beach, 1981-2005.

Box 14   Folder 12
Documents regarding Housing Authority, 1981, 1986, 2003-2005
Includes "Cooperation Agreement" (1981); meeting agendas; letters; memorandums; reports by Suttles and newspaper articles.
Box 14   Folder 13
Patricia Bellamy, 1993, 2004-2005
Includes documents regarding Bellamy as resident commissioner on Housing Authority board; court documents, newspaper articles; letters and reports written by Suttles.

3.3.4. Atlantic Beach Mayoral and Town Council Elections, 1997-2007.

Contains court documents, correspondence and newspaper articles regarding the alleged voter fraud in the 8 Nov 2003 election of the AB Mayor and several council candidates including Suttles. Also contains documents pertaining to the 2005 and 2007 Town Council elections.
Box 15   Folder 1
Elections Commission, 1997
Contains an ordinance amending AB elections.
Box 15   Folder 2
City of Myrtle Beach Election Commission, 1999-2000
Re court case involving Rachel Broadhurst.
Box 15   Folder 3
"Vote for Sherry A. Suttles", 2003
Contains campaign flyers, letters, memorandums, emails and newspaper articles regarding Suttles run for AB Town Council member.
Box 15   Folder 4
Town Council candidates, 2003
Contains campaign materials from competing AB Town Council candidates includes election schedule, flyers and newsletters.
Box 15   Folder 5
Election protest, 2003
Contains documents regarding alleged voter fraud by incumbent losers for Mayor and Town Council seats (8 Nov 2003), with press releases; flyers; letters; memorandums and newspaper articles.
Box 15   Folder 6
Election protest, January-May, 2004
Contains correspondence, court documents, reports and memorandums from Suttles, and newspaper articles.
Box 15   Folder 7
Court documents, June-December, 2004
Re "Taylor, Skeeters and Wilson v. Town of Atlantic Beach Election Commission, Armstrong, Evans and Suttles.
Box 15   Folder 8
Court documents, January-March, 2005
Re "Taylor v. Town of Atlantic Beach Election Commission, Includes Suttles' "Take Seat" speech transcript (March) regarding her formally taking her position as AB Town Council member with correspondence, newspaper articles and color photographs of Suttles swearing-in ceremony.
Box 15   Folder 9
Town Council elections, September-November, 2005
Contains campaign flyers, letters, memorandums, emails and newspaper articles.
Box 15   Folder 10
Town Council elections, 2007
Includes candidate applications and state of candidacy.

3.4 Atlantic Beach Town Council, 2000-2009 and undated.

Contains mostly meeting agendas and minutes generated by the AB Town Council. Sub-series includes "Subcommittees and Special Interest Projects" and "Town Council Elections." Organized by year.
Box 16   Folder 1
Town Ordinance, 2000
Re travel for mayor and town council members.
Box 16   Folder 2
Agenda and minutes, 2001
Public Hearings and special meetings.
Box 16   Folder 3
Agendas for General Session meetings, 2002
Also includes "ordinance to ament the Town Council" and newspaper articles.
Box 16   Folder 4
Town Council procedures, 2003
Includes letters addressed to council; draft of resolutions; agendas for General Session meetings and emails regarding council issues.
Box 16   Folder 5
Agendas for General and Special Session meetings, 2004
Also includes letter and report from Suttles as a Town Council member-elect.
Box 16   Folder 6
Council Member, Delores Wilson, 2004-2005
Includes letters and newspaper articles.
Box 16   Folder 7
Agendas for General and Special Session meetings, 2005
Several meeting minutes are include. Also contains "For the Record" reports by Suttles; letters, memorandums, emails, newsletters and newspaper articles.
Box 16   Folder 8
Agendas for General and Special Session meetings, January-June 2006
Also includes meeting minutes; "For the Record" reports by Suttles; letters, memorandums, emails, newsletters and newspaper articles.
Box 16   Folder 9
Agendas for General and Special Session meetings, July-December 2006
Also includes BikeFest report (August); full minutes for Special Session meetings (September) regarding final vote on adoption of planning and development codes, slum and blight, public nuisance, and fair housing ordinances; "For the Record" reports by Suttles; letters, memorandums, emails, newsletters and newspaper articles.
Box 16   Folder 10
Agendas for General and Special Session meetings, 2007
Includes reports by Suttles; letters; memorandums, emails, newsletters and newspaper article regarding an arrest of a council member.
Box 16   Folder 11
Suttles endorsement for Town Council candidate, 2008-2009
Also includes agendas for General and Executive Sessions.
Box 16   Folder 12
Documents regarding Town Council meetings, undated
Box 16   Folder 13
Atlantic Beach Landowners Association (ABLA), 2001-2007
Includes several listings of AB landowners; correspondence; memorandums and newspaper articles. Also includes "Goals-Vision Plan (2002-2005);" and correspondence, memorandums, agendas, newspaper articles from an opposing group, the Association of Atlantic Beach Property Owners (ABPO).
Box 16   Folder 14
"The Carma Russell Fund", 2006
Includes statement of concern to Horry Police Department from Suttles; funeral program; public service announcement flyer and bank statements from fundraiser proceeds.

3.5 Periodical articles regarding Atlantic Beach, 1967-2008.

Contains general overview newspaper articles and essays regarding the Town of Atlantic Beach.
Box 17   Folder 1
Articles, 1982, 1989
Box 17   Folder 2
Articles, 1997, 1999
Box 17   Folder 3
Articles, 2000-2003
Box 17   Folder 4
Articles, 2004-2005
Box 17   Folder 5
Articles, 2006-2008
Box 17   Folder 6
General articles regarding Atlantic Beach, undated
Box 17   Folder 7
General newspaper articles regarding various topics, 1967, 2000, 2001
Newspaper articles regarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967); minority and women-owned businesses (2000); and Mayor Elona Davis, Denmark, South Carolina (2001).

3.6 Town of Atlantic Beach Affiliations, 2002-2007, undated.

This sub-series contains various activities, and businesses relating to the Town of Atlantic Beach. Included are church and funeral programs of AB residents, and emerging businesses.
Box 17   Folder 8
Church Programs, 1999-2008, undated
Event programs from various churches in Atlantic Beach and Myrtle Beach.
Box 17   Folder 9
Funeral programs, 2002-2006, undated
Includes tributes to decreased AB residents.
Box 17   Folder 10
Various community programs, 1999-2005, undated
Box 17   Folder 11
Black Pearl Land Company, 2007
A independent real estate property company promoting "The Black Pearl Resort." Includes letter to Suttles with "conceptual master plan" and brochures.

3.7 Horry County, and Surrounding Areas in South Carolina, 1990-2005.

Contains various materials (reports, statistics, programs, newspaper articles) regarding Horry County, the Cities of Myrtle Beach and Conway and Georgetown County.
Box 17   Folder 12
Horry and Georgetown Counties, 1990-2005
Includes Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Conway. Contains census records; newspaper articles; clerk of court roster; and maps.
Box 17   Folder 13
Myrtle Beach Colored School, 2001, 2005, undated
Contains newspaper articles and note cards featuring the first school for African-Americans in Myrtle Beach in the 1930s.

Series 4: Subject Files, 1996-2008.

Contains mostly magazine and/or newspaper articles; various topics relating directly/indirectly to Atlantic Beach. Subjects listed in alphabetical order.
Box 17   Folder 14
African American Beaches and Tourism, 1996-2006
Includes magazine and newspaper articles regarding Highland Beach, Maryland; Frederick Douglass Museum, Maryland; and Idlewild, Michigan. Also review American Beach, Box 4, Folder 16.
Box 17   Folder 15
Gullah/Geechee Nation, 2003-2004, 2007
Box 17   Folder 16
National Association Black Hotel Owners, 2002
Box 17   Folder 17
People: Barack Obama, 2008
Holds campaign materials from first election.
Box 17   Folder 18
People: Vermelle "Bunny" Rodriques, 2001, 2006, undated
Owner of Gullah O'oman Museum in Pawleys Island. Holds newspaper articles and children's coloring book (2006).
Box 17   Folder 19
South Carolina Farmers Cooperative, 2003
Contains organizational proposal for "Goals & Objectives."

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials fromour collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Sherry A. Suttles Collection of Atlantic Beach, South Carolina, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Sherry A. Suttles

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, 03, 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, 03, 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, 03, 2014