Drunken Jack’s Island – Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Georgetown County Photos | Drunken Jack’s Island
People call this 20,000-square-foot island off the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet Drunken Jack’s Island (not to be confused with Drunken Jack Island in Huntington Beach State Park), as it sits just beyond Drunken Jack’s, one of the many restaurants found here in the “Seafod Capital of South Carolina.” Yet it also is referred to as Goat Island (not to be confused with the Goat Island in Charleston County). If one looks closely at this dusk-drenched photo, goats can be seen looking out towards the water. Wait – goats?
For more than a quarter of a century, the owners of Drunken Jack’s restaurant have been keeping goats on this islet during the warm-weather months. The goats naturally maintain the island’s vegetation and provide a spectacle for diners and strollers. They are cared for by restaurant employee and local celebrity Bubba Love, aka Jerome Smalls, who feeds and tends to the animals daily. Peacocks were added to the mix in recent years, and the unusual view from the half-mile long MarshWalk, which takes folks through the ecology thriving within the Spartina alterniflora (otherwise known as marsh grass), has a lot of out-of-towners asking how in the world the creatures got there. The answer to the mystery is as simple as one of Drunken Jack’s famous hushpuppies.
The pirate flag signaling in the water harkens to the inlet’s lore as a pirates’ cove, the winding channels of Murrells Inlet having once provided hiding spots for pirates ready to overtake cargo ships. The pirate theme is prevalent along the inlet, and not without reason. Rice was a hugely successful crop here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, creating unimaginable wealth for planters. Ships carrying this Carolina Gold rice to England were vulnerable to pirates, who recognized the value of the export commodity. Rumors of pirate treasure abound along the coastline, inciting the imaginations of both children and adults – an idea not lost on local businesses.
The next time you visit Murrells Inlet, if a skull-and-crossbones flag waves to you from the distance, and you hear the shriek of a peacock and think you might possibly see farm animals on a small salty island, don’t wonder if you’ve been imbibing too much at Drunken Jack’s. What you are seeing is no illusion; it’s all part of the magic of Murrells Inlet.
Drunken Jack’s Island Info
Address: US Highway 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Drunken Jack’s Island Map
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