[26 June 2010: Howdy folks! If you're coming here from The State article on "The Old Caughman Place", there's more vanished Columbia here than just The Bounty. Take a look at the list of Alphabetical Closings, or check out the latest posts on the Columbia Closings home page -- Ted]
Well, this is one of the two most requested posts I haven't done yet, or at least one of the two "most searched for" posts. I've held off doing a post on The Bounty because I never ate there and didn't have any personal memories at all to relate, and the building is gone, so I couldn't get any photos. However, I did finally get a yellow pages ad (from the 1977 Southern Bell phonebook), so I decided to go out on the Sumter Highway and see if I could find where I thought it was.
The most likely place seems to be on Mill Creek off the right side of the road if you are heading towards Sumter. We used to take this route the the beach, and the site more or less comports with what I remember from those trips. Taking a good picture seems to be impossible though. There is no access to the lake from the Sumter Highway except as you go over the bridge, and if you were to park and walk out on the bridge you would be taking your life in your hands as there is no sidewalk space. The road is also too busy to stop on the bridge in your car. I went by half a dozen times before I was able to snap this poor shot through the window. I recall The Bounty as being on the left bank (as pictured here) of the lake. There must have been road access to the site, so I went around on Old Garners Ferry, but anything that seems likely is all fenced and posted -- you can't even see the lake from that side (though thre is a waterfall over the dam which I assume was once a mill, giving the creek its name).
The Bounty was a seafood restaurant which also had a kid-friendly "ship" which took kids out on the lake as part of a whole dining experience. From this site and various comments you folks have made here, I believe the story of The Bounty was about as follows:
A local businessman, B. C. Inabinet, had the enthusiasm and know-how to run a seafood restaurant, so he got his main company to build The Bounty and take ownership. It was profitable, and everyone was happy. When he passed away, his successors at the main company found they didn't have a passion for the restaurant business and decided to abandon The Bounty to concentrate on the firm's core interests. In the end the building was burned as a practice exercise for the local fire department.
That's about all I can say, except that it sounds like it was a fun place, and I'm sure that I would have liked it except for the "fish" part. Now, here's what y'all have said:
The far left of Captain’s Kitchen was shaped, or enclosed in an old boat, but who remember’s the Bounty out toward Hopkins that was built like a huge boat. My grandparent’s loved to eat there. It looked like some crazy themed resturant from the coast.
Also, what was the resturant located on Decker where Chick-fil-a is now. I think it was Applegates Landing. It was also themed on the inside. I remember a salad bar that was made from an old truck.
By Hal Reed on Sep 4, 2008
The Bounty was owned & operated by B.C. Inabinet, a college football star who founded Defender Industries and got rich selling janitorial supplies. We often bumped into him at his restaurant, and he was a happy, wonderful host who love people and loved to eat!
He also owned a working shrimp boat on the coast called The Bounty, and in the restaurant was a series of photos of the boat’s christening. His wife hit the bow with a magnum of champagne, and instead of breaking, it knocked a chunk off the boat! He found this hilarious and loved to tell the story.
Behind the restaurant he built a little shack on the lake’s edge where you could get beer and oysters in a sort of tropical setting. Great fun.
B.C. died from complications following stomach-stapling surgery (he was huge). I heard that he refused to follow doctor’s orders about eating after the operation and that’s what did him in.
By Dennis on Sep 5, 2008
The Bounty was a renovated wooden structure on the old swim club called Pine Woods. I think Pine Woods closed in the early seventies. I was involved with installing insulation under the restaurant for insulation. I believe the restaurant burned down after a few years.
By keith on Nov 12, 2008
I remember the Bounty well as I grew up on that side of town and we went there often. The whole restaurant inside and out looked like a ship right out of the 1600’s complete with great lighting at nights and mannequins. There was indeed a boat that took you on tours of the pond (although at 5 yrs old it seemed huge, especially after dark). It also seems that there was a pirate wharf out back with a little souvenir shack where you could get (among other things) little pirate flags and probably even those plastic pirate swords. In my memory it was as cool as Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney, and there has been nothing like it in Columbia since.
By Larry on Nov 13, 2008
The Bounty off of Garners Ferry Rd… few restaurants out that way in the late 70s other than the Chicken Coop near where Zaxby’s is now.
At the Bounty after dinner they’d ride you on the pond in the “ship.” One time the “skipper” said “You see that thing over there that looks like a log? Well, it is a log.” The place burned to the groud, maybe in the 80s.
By Midnight Rambler on Dec 16, 2008
The Bounty was a great place to go eat but I agree with Kelly, I don’t think it was quite as good as Captain’s Kitchen. When I was very young, my parents were members of Pinewood Club (where the Bounty was.) It was the big pond and a few rustic buildings. One was the canteen and others I think were the Men’s and Women’s buildings to change into their swimsuits. That’s where I learned to swim. Good fishing there too! I believe the Columbia Fire Dept may have torched the Bounty for training purposes. At least that is what I was told.
By Roy on Dec 21, 2008
UPDATE 30 September 2012: I'm very happy to report that thanks to commenter Steve who made the scans from his postcard we now have an actual picture of The Bounty! I have added the postcard to the very top of the post.
UPDATE 19 January 2013: Commenter Jiles Bishop sends this scan of a Bounty boat-ride token. Be sure to read his comment below as well:
38 Responses to 'The Bounty, Sumter Highway: early 1980s'
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