Lindy's on Highway 99
Wednesday May 12, 2005
By Dawna Curler
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
These days your best chance of dancing to big name country-western entertainers in Southern Oregon is at the annual Britt Festivals or at one of the local county fairs in the summer.
But in the 1950s it was Lindy's on Highway 99 south of Roseburg, Oregon. Lindy's was the region's legendary honky-tonk and a frequent stopover for the likes of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
Opened in 1945, it was originally called the "Dutch Mill" because the building looked like an old-world windmill. But the Dutch Mill dance hall had a rowdy…and seedy…reputation. Rumors told of an upstairs gambling den and bedrooms that rented by the hour.
Family man Herb Linder bought it in 1952, changed the name to Lindy's, tidied the reputation and focused on crowd-pleasing, country-western music.
For nearly a decade it was the honky-tonk of choice for many miles around. But by 1962, things had changed. The big performers stopped coming and Lindy's closed. Over the years it became an auction house, a flea market and even a furniture store. Today, part of Lindy's is an antique store; the rest is a pizza parlor and game arcade. But there's still entertainment to be found there: Every Thursday is Karaoke (ker-ee-OH-kee) night.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Wyatt, Steve M. "Lindy's, the House that Hooch Built," Table Rock Sentinel, March/April 1993, pp. 11-13. Lindy's Tower Antique Mall staff, phone conversation with the author, March 25, 2005.