Sam's Place is located at 3103 Hollansburg Tampico Road in Hollansburg, Ohio.
The hamlet of Glen Karn in southwest Darke County was once a flourishing place.
There was a chicken factory, a lumber yard, a Kraft Cheese factory, a cannery, a general store, a hotel, a dry goods store, elevator and a pool hall in the 1960s. They even had a depot for the passing trains at one time.
The Palestine and Hollansburg schools eventually merged, with students K-8 going to Palestine and high-schoolers going to Hollansburg, known as Westmont.
There is no mayor, no village council, no post office like the bigger villages and cities. Residents living here patronize the post office in Hollansburg, a little more than a stone’s throw to the south of here.
There are an estimated 21 homes in Glen Karn, and it is believed that Larry Foster and Wanda Willingham are the oldest residents still living there. Population is an estimated 60 residents, whereas it was 102 in 1952.
Now the only business is Sam’s Place, a bar and grill, which attracts many customers despite its rural location. Many patrons describe it as a family-friendly business.
It’s been in the Lindamood family for 65 years. It’s named for its patriarch, Sam Lindamood Jr., who with his wife, the
late Doreen Peden Lindamood, purchased it 65 years ago.
Sam’s son, Tony Lindamood, said the original business was purchased in 1945 by Frank and Florence Wiles for $5,500 and was called “Mack’s Place,” After that, it sold for $8,000 to Tryphena Peden who named it Mom and Pop’s Place, and then she sold it to the Lindamoods for $14,500, on May 27, 1955.
Sam, born Samuel Lindamood Jr., died June 18, 2019, at the age of 89.
His obituary read, “During his years running the bar, Sam had the opportunity to make countless friends from those who would stop in for a drink and a burger. He never met a stranger and always welcomed everyone in with a smile. Sam and his family worked closely together and took great pride in the little bar with the big personality. For many years, friends and family would gather on Saturday evenings for chicken dinners.”
It went on, “Sam had an amazing personality and had a knack for telling jokes and stories. He would tell a lie on purpose just to see how it would get around. He loved sports, was a little league baseball coach and followed Tri-Village basketball. He loved baseball and would rarely miss a Cincinnati Reds Game. Sam was always community-driven. He served on the Hollansburg Volunteer Fire Department for many years. At one time, the fire department phones would ring into the bar. The room would get quiet as Sam took the call and then everyone would dash out to handle the emergency. Sam served his county honorably in the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean War.”
The son of the late Samuel and Norma (Teaford) Lindamood, the business owner grew up in Palestine with six sisters, Pat Graham , Wilma “Punk” Richards and Phyllis “Sissy” Snyder, as well as Lois “WoeWee” Hines, Juanita “WeeWee” Hawkey and Marilyn “Pete” Myers, all of whom are deceased.
His children are Roseanna Ryder of Arcanum, Darrell (Betty) Skaggs of Richmond, Ind., Tony (LouAnn) Lindamood of New Madison, Christa (Jack) Adkins of Hollansburg, Vickie Wicker of Hollansburg, Kimberly (Stephen) Cofield of Fountain City, Ind., and Gary Skaggs, deceased. There are also countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews.
For a short while after Sam’s death, Garrett Lindamood and Cindy Hoisington took over the bar, and then Steve and Kim Burge became its owners. Steve learned that the family was wanting to sell it and had to talk his wife into it. At first, she was against it, but she is practically part of the family and consented to it.
“He talked me into it,” she said. “We got it March 1, 2020, were open one week then COVID shut us down. It was bad timing but we got some refurbishing done inside during that time.”
Kim, happy they decided to buy it, said her parents, the Wileys, lived where she lives today on a farm near Lynn, not far away in neighboring Indiana.
“I’ve lived my whole life on the next road over,” said Kim, who likes to coordinate events, especially Halloween parties. “My dad and uncle became good friends of Sam, and I came here with my parents and grew up with all of these kids. This is literally my world. I never dreamed of owning this place. Sam was like my third dad.”
Kim, a Lynn High School graduate, said her husband is a farmer and works at Northeastern School in Fountain City, Ind. They have three children and 10 grandchildren.
What was it like for her growing up in this area? “My mom was a war bride from Alabama and married Dad, an airplane mechanic in World War II,” replied Kim, who also works for Indiana Agriculture in Muncie, Ind. “Mom was a southern belle married to a farmer.”
“Kim probably ate 60 percent of her meals in her lifetime here,” Tony commented.
Working most of the time preparing food is Sam’s grandson and kitchen manager, Mac Wicker. In addition to being a custodian also at the Northeastern Schools and working in the kitchen at Sam’s Place, he’s mowing the lawn there as well as on a couple of neighboring properties. He and his wife, the former Becky Ponder, have three children, one deceased.
A 1992 graduate of Tri-Village High School, he lived with and was raised by his grandparents next door to the business.
“It’s all I’ve ever known,” Mac said. “I love kids and people…see them laugh and smile. It drives me to keep doing this. The people in town are starting to die off. It’s hard to see the town whittle away.”
Sam’s sister, Punk, said she came here in 1955 to live with the Lindamoods while her husband was in the military to help take care of Sam’s pregnant wife Doreen, who had some other health issues.
“I wound up working here in the bar all of the time,” Richards said. “I took care of Mac when he was a baby. I brought him to work with me and would set him up in his pumpkin seat on the table and he would watch. Mac is ornery but he is good at what he does.”
She has another memory of the place, “Little ones were not allowed in here and Babe Cox, an older guy, worked at the elevator, and Lloyd “Hoppy Hopkins” let the kids in the door and read cartoons in the paper to them. It was more than a family place and still is. People come in for birthday parties, other special events and after little league games. It’s always been that way. It’s hard to explain.”
She thinks the family atmosphere is what keeps customers coming back. “Back then, you trusted everybody,” she said. “I always felt safe working here.”
Sam’s son Tony, said he grew up in the business as well and, being born in 1953, he remembers the railroad depot.
“The railroad went out in the 1960s or around there,” he said. “We used to get a lot of freight on the train here.”
He also noted that Holly Farms Chicken supposedly started in Glen Karn, where it was processed by Dick Hill, “We just got wi-fi in here last year and we now have an ATM money machine and a jukebox,” Tony added.
“Don Green will play the jukebox from his home,” Punk said.
Tony also noted that his mother pan-fried 25 chickens every Saturday night for 30 years, drawing in the crowds, but that tradition has stopped. They do offer a breakfast every Saturday morning, however.
“Everybody comes for sausage sandwiches, but Mac also makes breakfast food on a plate,” Tony pointed out.
What is remembered most about Sam is how he and other bar owners in the area — Red Thwaits, Merlin Ganger and Roy LeVech — would run around together and sometimes disappear for quite a while. And, they would go to opening day of ballgames once in a while.
Punk grinned as she told of how Sam liked to hand out chocolate bars to all the children, probably to the dismay of their parents who had to clean them up.
“But he was stricter with his kids,” offered Tony, who also noted that the bar and grill featured a liar’s table at one time.
“The Westmont Wildcats won the state championship in 1954 in basketball,” said Dennis Eley, who lives in Greenville and said he’s always loved Hollansburg.
“I have been coming here (Sam’s Place) once a month for about 60 years,” Eley said. “There are a lot of memories.”
And most of the time, everybody knows it’s Tom Richards who sits on the stool at the end of the bar. He has a claim to it.
There has hardly ever been any trouble at Sam’s Place.
“Dad handled all problems by himself,” Tony said.
Sam’s Place opens Tuesday through Friday at 5 p.m. and is open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays and on Sundays from 1 to 8 p.m.