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The Bounty, Sumter Highway: early 1980s   45 comments

Posted at 10:36 pm in Uncategorized

[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:

Written by ted on June 15th, 2009

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

45 Responses to 'The Bounty, Sumter Highway: early 1980s'

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  1. The owner was a former offensive lineman for Clemson. When you went in the door the lobby had pictures of principals and places involved in the real HMS Bounty and stills from the two films made about the muitany.

    The inside looked like a ship too.

    I still miss that place.


    16 Jun 09 at 5:41 am

  2. Inabinet died in either '81 or '82. The restaurant closed for good in late '85.


    16 Jun 09 at 1:38 pm

  3. I loved this place. We used to drive over from Sumter to eat there. It felt as if you were actually eating in a berthed Spanish Galleon.


    17 Jun 09 at 2:32 pm

  4. I can't believe that I used to swim in that lake. It was the Pinewood swim club back in the 60's and early 70's. I learned to swim there as a kid. It became unsafe, because of Mill Creek pollution, in the early 70's and was closed. The memories of the garfish in the lake still give me the heebie jeebies when I think about it. Then again, Lake Murray is full of them and is a reason why I won't swim in it.


    18 Jun 09 at 8:35 pm

  5. Our band played for a high school club dance in the old wooden clubhouse back in the late 50's. I used to play golf at the old Pine Forest Golf club which was on the other side of the highway. It was sold years ago and housing developments built there. Sedgewood took a lot of the golfers when it was built further out the Sumter Hwy.


    18 Jun 09 at 9:55 pm

  6. Does anybody remember a swimming place somewhere on the other side of Garner's Ferry Rd., called Sunview Lake? I can't remember anything about it except that one of my friends invited me there once or twice when I was a kid.


    20 Jun 09 at 7:32 pm

  7. Cary
    The Sunview Lake Swim Club was located on Teague Rd and was operated by the Teague family. I believe they had to close up due to increasing insurance costs sometime in the late '70s. (Though this site has taught me I don't remember the years as well as I thought I did) Individual homes have replaced the old club house that contained lockers and had a concession stand. The diving boards at the end of the docks have been long gone. I guess the price of fun grew too high.


    21 Jun 09 at 3:26 am

  8. It's amazing how much of a negative impact on the way we live "insurance" has had in the last 40 years..


    21 Jun 09 at 11:46 am

  9. Speaking of swimming holes, anyone remember Bradley Terrace?

    It was a private pay-as-you go neighborhood pool on the low-rent fringe of Forest Acres, at the intersection of Beltline and Victory St. (Just down the hill on Beltline from Covenant Rd.)

    It wasn't very big and was always crowded but it sure felt good to jump in on theose brutal summer days. They had a tiny snack bar and a few small trampolines that were basically tarps on springs staked down over holes dug in the ground. I've never seen that done anywhere else.

    There was a big sign over the main entrance that said RESTRICTED, which back then (1965) was code for "whites only."

    It's all gone and there's a nursing home in that spot now.


    21 Jun 09 at 12:24 pm

  10. Don't remember that, but I've seen "pit" trampolines before. That's what King's Funland on Pawleys Island had (though I believe they were non homemade, but nylon and designed as trampolines). Again, I'm sure insurance would nix that today.


    21 Jun 09 at 12:46 pm

  11. Benjamin Claude Inabinet Junior
    (1934- August 7, 1983)

    Steven Rowe

    28 Jun 09 at 9:35 am

  12. BC died of a heart attack, not a gastric bypass surgery. (I mean, not a huge surprise - when I was a toddler he used to sit me on his enormous belly. I remember he'd eat whole cans of peanuts at a sitting and wash them down with a Diet Coke.) My dad worked for him out at Defender and was one of the partners who bought it from his widow, Kitty, a few years after his death. We'd go to the Bounty all the time when I was little, and the waiters would bring me plates of pickles and lemons and Shirley Temples full of cherries.


    28 Jul 09 at 9:06 am

  13. Ted, when was Kings Funland closed? I remember the arcade along Atlantic Ave. and the putt putt course and trampolines. The Kings built the new arcade close to the dunes in 1970. Red King dropped dead there in 1971 or thereabouts. But I don't remember the last year of the outside venue.


    28 Jul 09 at 5:44 pm

  14. It was still there when I was in at least part of High School, and I'm sure it was gone by the time I moved to Fayetteville (1985). I would say late 1970s. Too bad nobody would do a trampoline pit nowdays!


    28 Jul 09 at 5:52 pm

  15. Insurance regulations have taken a lot of fun out of life. Now when I think about it and with the help of a Pawleys Facebook page, the arcade was razed in 1981 and the land redeveloped. By 1976, I was frequenting a joint called Buckys, across 17 from the South Causeway. I was amazed to find that a bar is still in the same building when I went to Pawleys last year.


    28 Jul 09 at 9:34 pm

  16. The Bounty was the sort of roadside attraction that I sorely miss in America today -- a real ode to the passion and eccentricity of an individual. I lived on the other side of town so I didn't get there too often but when my girlfriend worked there I visited a lot more often! :-)

    Peter Hoffman

    9 Jan 10 at 9:05 pm

  17. The Bounty was a regular monthly visit for my family in the 1970s. I still think of it as I pass that small lake on my trips to Sumter to visit family. My family of six worked the wait staff real hard with the all you could eat night.

    Barry Taylor

    9 Jan 10 at 10:30 pm

  18. Peter,

    Yeah I think zoning, community standards and zoning codes are sucking the life out of America. Luckily, they haven't set in too much in Florida yet:


    10 Jan 10 at 2:49 am

  19. Ted
    That's a tremendous shot of Harold's Auto. I'll bet you drove by it and thought "I've got to go get a shot of that".


    10 Jan 10 at 3:29 am

  20. Thanks Terry!

    Yep, I don't know how anyone could drive past that and not want a picture..


    10 Jan 10 at 3:55 am

  21. @ted That's good to know about Florida. I spent a considerable amount of my youth living there and I loved the place. I hope sometime soon to be able to take my family on a Florida vacation searching out what remains of the old Florida.

    Peter Hoffman

    10 Jan 10 at 3:39 pm

  22. I went here when i was very little with my parents. All I remember was that it looked like a ship. And when you sat down you could look out the windows at the water. I don't remembering it looking too deep...


    22 Mar 10 at 12:13 am

  23. i remember bradley pool ,, we used to go there on the weekdays during the summer in the mid 60's


    31 May 10 at 11:14 pm

  24. the bounty had great froglegs ,,, they probably caught the frogs out back behind the restarant


    31 May 10 at 11:17 pm

  25. jamie

    28 Jun 10 at 8:07 am

  26. I remember swimming at the swim club where the Bounty was. My family was also members of Sunview swim club, boy do I have some great memories of that place, I was only 11, 12 and 13 years old at the time, I'm 54 now. Time sure goes by. I ate at the Bounty many times, I used to work at a gas station across from the VA Hospital called "Payless" (There is a bank there now) and that is where B.C. Inabinet bought his gas. I remember he would pull up in his Lincoln Contenintal and would have stacks of cash on the seat next to him, taking it to the bank. He was a big man. Years after the Bounty closed, the structure got so rotten that it needed to be torn down, I remember the current owners allowed the Capital View Volunteer Fire department to set it on fire and used it for practice putting out fires. I was a volunteer at the fire dept for a while. And as midnight rider said not much was out that way past the VA hospital, Marion Burnside Chrysler Plymouth, an A&P grocery store, Lower Richland High School, and I just barely remember the Chickin Coop. I have lived on this/that side of town all my life.


    16 Jan 11 at 11:25 am

  27. I never ate here, but every time we went to the beach when I was a kid, I saw it and wanted to go. For some reason, my parents never took me, and now for some reason I still check for the ship when going to the beach, perhaps hoping for a Flying Dutchman experience?


    17 Aug 11 at 11:29 am

  28. Looks like Richland County bought the property and is going to make a park out of it.


    5 Oct 11 at 7:36 am

  29. I worked as a waitress at the bounty in the early 80s. I remember serving dinner to 'goober' from the Mayberry show. I also remember they had a sort of nightclub next door. We used to listen to a couple sing some gray song back then. Wish I could remember thier name.


    8 Dec 11 at 9:17 am

  30. I remember the Bounty well! It was "the" place to go on date night in Columbia. It was built so well one really wondered if it was an authentic ship and if so how in the heck did they get it to that lake? Pretty good seafood as I recall but not as good as Captain's Kitchen or Parklane Seafood (which was located on Leesburg Road not far from the Bounty).

    Ned Harkey

    24 Dec 11 at 12:23 am

  31. Arrrrggg matey The Bounty was the best!


    6 Jan 12 at 4:46 pm

  32. Folks,

    I'm happy to say that through the good offices of commenter Steve, we now have an actual picture of The Bounty!


    29 Sep 12 at 11:46 pm

  33. I too worked at The Bounty. I co-piloted the smaller Bounty around the lake. I can still give the talk we gave. In its heyday we ran cruses weather permitting ran until 11:00 PM. On the rbeach area there were converted buildings; the Pitcairn Lounge, a gift shop, and an ice cream shop, and a small bathroom. I had to rake the beach every day, and light the gas torches at night. The boat and life jackets required daily maintenance. The smaller boat weighed around 10,000 pounds with a flat steel bottom and lower sides. When it was really windy we could not take it out because the rigging caught the wind and off we would go with the wind. There was bench seating along the edge. People loved to ride that boat and would get mad if it was broken of it was too windy. It was powered by a Chevrolet 350 cu with a 4 barrel carburetor. All that power was channeled into an inboard outboard boot. BTW the boat was not on a track we did all the driving and docking ourselves. At the far end of the beach was a doublewide trailer with a huge deck that hung out over the lake. Prime seating inside was a window seat so you could watch the boat make trips. After you ate they would give you wooden nickel tokens good for one cruse. I think I have some misprint ones I’ll go look and post pictures if I still have them. Mr. Paul Medlin kept the boat running and repaired. More than one night his evening was interrupted by boat troubles. An engine that powerful is not made it idle around half of a 36 acre lake. Daily we used to take it out without passengers and run it up and down that tiny lake wide open. The restaurant was huge and served tons of food mainly calabash style. I can remember it would be packed the wait coming into the restaurant was decorated with a water fall and pond and you walked across a small bridge to enter. Most people parked in a lower parking lot so you could walk across a long bridge and see the dam spillway which was lit. All the sand was raked weekly except the beach where you boarded the little boat for your cruse was done daily. Some nights we would sneak it out after closing and do what most young adults would do. Party on the lake. I remember diving off the small boat’s upper rigging as high as you could go. We had the PA system which had a radio and cassette player. We also had a CB radio. Good times were had by all. Sunday we worked most of the day and had a period off the clock. So we could pilot the boat until 11:00 o’clock

    Jiles Bishop

    13 Jan 13 at 1:31 pm

  34. Folks, commenter Jiles's Bounty token picture is now up!


    19 Jan 13 at 12:24 am

  35. I worked at the Bounty Restaurant for about four years until 1979. I did hostessing, serving, and cashiering at that time. I also have a picture that they took of some of us for a commercial. My boss during this time was a man called A. G. Busa.....or Rick, as most knew him. Working with him was some of the best times of my life. He had a great personality and wit. The restaurant had five dining rooms. I remember the Pitcairn Lounge...I think I still have a pic of myself there. There was so much Bounty memorabilia on the walls. I also remember the gift shop and ice cream shop outside and, of course, the SHIP! And I remember you too, Jiles Bishop! It was a very unique place to work!

    Katrina Palmer Hobbs

    24 Feb 13 at 7:06 am

  36. If you have scans of those pix you'd like posted, I'd be glad to do it..


    24 Feb 13 at 11:35 pm

  37. Jiles and Katrina,
    During those years it was common to see 15-20 Square D Electrical Controls (located just down the highway) employees enjoying happy hour in the Pitcairn Lounge on any given afternoon. The name was borrowed from Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean that was settled by mutineers from the HMS Bounty.
    We all had a great time and several of us played for The Bounty softball team at Caughman Park.


    25 Feb 13 at 4:50 am

  38. Wow! Katrina, the beautiful maiden of the ship, I remember you too. Terry I also remember you and the gang. It was a great place to work and play! I often fondly remember my job and friends there. It was sad to see B.C go so young. Less than a week later my Mother passed away. I remember when they burned it down for practice of Fire crews. It is second nature still for me to turn to look for the old Bounty when crossing the bridge of Mill Creek. Great to hear some of the crew is still kicking and avoiding being “Pressed into Service.”


    Jiles Bishop

    26 Mar 13 at 10:53 am

  39. Y'all are the ones I want to hear from. I am doing research on the pond property, its history, and the history of the area. All stories and pics would be greatly appreciated. In reading these posts I picked up a few new things to research, such as the Pine Forest Golf club. I've only lived here since the mid-80's, so there's so much I don't know that I'd like to know. My research is for the Living History Farm mentioned in tonkatoy's post, so it is possible that some quotes and pictures sent me will wind up there (with permission of course). Does anyone actually remember Dawson's Speedway? It was suppose to have been out Garner's Ferry Road a short distance past Trotter. I've only found one hand-drawn map with it shown, but a 1939 aerial photograph shows and oval in the same spot.

    Scott Gandy

    7 Jul 13 at 9:13 am

  40. I'm really dating myself but my memories of Pinewood Lake are pre-Bounty. My neighbors , who were members of PLC, would invite me almost every Sun. to go swimming there. The adults would play bridge and barbecue while the kids swam. Once we even slept overnight on cots in one of the screened in picnic shelters. My friend's dad taught me to swim there at age 9. Then I could cross the " board" and swim to the platform in the deep water and also to the diving platform with a low and a high diving board. Yes, there were changing rooms and a concession that sold "push-ups", orange sherbet ice cream things. We would also catch tadpoles in the shallow water and I would take a few home every summer and raise 'em up to cute little frogs. I do remember an old mill near a bridge with a water wheel that didn't function anymore. As a teenager, I didn't swim at PLC anymore, but I did babysit for BC and Kitty's 3 kids (also neighbors). Ahhhh....I've enjoyed reliving these great summer memories!


    11 Aug 13 at 8:05 pm

  41. Where The Bounty used to be..isn't that lake and the other one on the other side (I think) used to be known as "Twin Lakes"? If so, I've seen old postcards of it from the 1930's with the building that looks like what became "The Bounty" itself. Anyone know?


    11 Aug 13 at 9:27 pm

  42. Twin Lakes is further out and off Leesburg, IIRC.


    12 Aug 13 at 11:33 am

  43. I remember the Bounty very well, used to eat there often. Knew B.C. very well. He was a huge man but had a hwart of gold. Some one in a coment made referance to the Parklane seafood place on Leesburg Rd, do you remember when that building was Dicks Flamingo Ckub? I used to hang out there often. It was owned by Dick Greenwood that lived in St. Marks Woods subdivision just up Leesburg Rd from the club. We also lived in the same neighborhood. Man the memories I have from the East Columbia side of town. :)

    Danny Murray

    21 Oct 13 at 9:46 pm

  44. Dick's Flamingo Club is here


    21 Oct 13 at 11:42 pm

  45. I have a sketch done of me after dinner at The Bounty on September 15th, 1979 that my sister somehow ended up with and returned to me just this month. I had to look it up to remember where this was when I found this site! Did anyone else let an artist named "Tyler" sketch you at this restaurant? I'm trying to remember what the occasion was for my dinner there on that date...


    Beth Bonds Mayer

    26 Dec 16 at 8:22 pm

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