Among the tourists were Elizabeth and Robert Gray and their children Alice and Edith. The Grays were noted fossil collectors and helped to establish the importance of the local fossil beds, providing samples for many museums, including the Natural History Museum in London.
Originally a fishing village, Girvan has always had a strong connection to fishing and the sea. Girvan has been the home base of a RNLI lifeboat for 140 years while the firm of Alexander Noble & Sons Ltd. keeps alive the skills of traditional boat builder and shipwright.
Modern industry came to Girvan during the Second World War when a factory was built at Grangstone to manufacture T.N.T. out of reach of German bombers. By 1963 the Town Council had created an industrial estate there which attracted Grant's whisky distillers and more recently Nestle in 1979.