Many people call this 20,000-square-foot island off the Marsh Walk in Murrells Inlet Goat Island (not to be confused with the Goat Island in Charleston County). The island sits just beyond Drunken Jack’s, one of the many restaurants found here in the Seafod Capital of South Carolina, and it is sometimes also called Drunken Jack’s Island for that reason (not to be confused with Drunken Jack Island in Huntington Beach State Park). However, the more common moniker of Goat Island is fitting; 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, which the restaurant owns, during the warmer months. The goats naturally maintain the island’s vegetation and provide a fun spectacle for guests. They are cared for by longtime employee and local celebrity “Bubba Love” (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 Marsh Walk leaves a lot of out-of-towners asking how in the world the creatures got there. As it turns out, the answer to this mystery is as simple as one of Drunken Jack’s famous hushpuppies.
The Jolly Roger in the top photo harkens back to the inlet’s days as a pirates’ cove. The winding channels of Murrells Inlet are said to have once provided hiding spots for pirates as they waited to overtake slow-moving merchant ships. The pirate theme is prevalent along the coast, and not without reason. Rice was a hugely successful crop here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, creating unimaginable wealth for planters. Cargoes of Carolina Gold were vulnerable, and rumors of buried treasure abound.
Visited this area Oct. 2019 and saw the goats from the Marsh Walk. Was not aware of this island until this visit. Enjoyed the view.
Joanne Lee Deyoe says
Merry Christmas to Goat Island!
Russell Thomas Broere says
Hello, I just bought a goat and don’t think I will be able to keep it. I was wondering if you would like a free goat?
Russell, that is a nice offer but we are not directly affiliated with Goat Island. Your best bet would try to be finding an agricultural animal facility that could rehab the goat or online classifieds. Hope this helps.
Hi, Shugs. I live on Goat Island in Summerton, SC! I love your pieces and will be purchasing at a later date!
Have lived here a long time but never heard anybody call this island Drunken Jack’s. It’s known as Goat Island to all the locals. Drunken Jack’s Island is closer to the jetties, behind Huntington Beach State Park.
Hi, Rob. Thanks for your comment. We have heard it called both, and the town refers to it as Drunken Jack’s Island – likely due to its connection to the restaurant – which is why we went with that moniker in the title. However, we do mention it also being called Goat Island and also point out the difference between this little spot of land and Drunken Jack Island at Huntington Beach State Park.