COLUMBUS — Brenda Robinson Freeman can however don’t forget her 1st experience-to-confront come upon with a celebrity.
She was 16, performing as a server in 1979 at her family’s cafe on 17th Street in Columbus, which was referred to as Robinson’s Fish Sandwich.
Two guys walked in the front doorway. Although she did not understand a single of them, she could notify by the white of the 2nd man’s hair, mustache and goatee that the other dapper gentleman was probably the most recognizable icon in quick foods history.
“When he walked in the doorway, I requested him if he was Colonel (Harland) Sanders” said the then teenager, she claimed. “And he reported ‘yes, I am’.”
The male accompanying the founder of Kentucky Fried Hen (now KFC) chain stated that he and Sanders have been going to fish stands to sample distinctive recipes. In 1979, it experienced been 15 several years due to the fact Sanders had offered his shares of the quickly-food stuff chain.
While Sanders however served as a organization spokesman and ambassador, Sanders was then focused on a restaurant named just after his 2nd wife: Claudia Sanders Meal Household in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
Whilst Freeman stated she did not have any lengthy discussion with Sanders, she explained she was impressed at how kind and courteous he was. Just before he remaining, he turned his chair more than and wrote his signature and the date on the base of the seat.
“I’ve often wanted that chair, and I held inquiring Mama (Lois Vice) why we still left that chair guiding,” Freeman stated. “I’ve constantly imagined that I’d never ever get that chair back again.”
On Friday, Freeman and Vice ended up invited by the current entrepreneurs of Ye Olde Fish Property at 2024 17th St. At that time, Marlin and Denise Brown presented the chair to a extremely appreciative Freeman.
“I’ve arrive in here numerous, quite a few instances and questioned about the chair,” Freeman stated.
“Well, we needed you to have it,” Marlin Brown explained.
Connections to Columbus
Although it is very little extra than a footnote in most biographies, Harland Sanders was a Columbus resident although in his late 20s and early 30s. In this submit Planet War I era, he was identified in company circles as H.D. Sanders.
For a shorter time in the late 1910s, the Henryville native would from time to time journey to Bartholomew County to promote memberships in the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Started in 1908 as the Professional Club, the firm modified its name to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in 1915.
Just after obtaining the placement of secretary for the Jeffersonville Chamber of Commerce, a news report in a December 1920 version of the Night Republican, forerunner to The Republic, stated that Sanders arrived to town to be regarded as as secretary of the Columbus chamber.
Inside a thirty day period, he received the position. The 1921 Columbus city directory lists Harland and Josephine Sanders’ tackle as 1105 Washington St. In that period, the posture of secretary at a chamber of commerce was basically the very same as director. It was also during this time that H.D. and his brother, Clarence Sanders, established the Harlan Producing Co. of Columbus, which produced gasoline-form farm lights.
But with electrical lights turning into ever more well known, the expense soured. A see in the Jan 12, 1922 version said the manufacturing business turned insolvent and had been put into receivership.
In 1922, Sanders and household experienced moved to 1304 Pearl St. But that was the last mention produced of Sanders in Columbus in subsequent city directories or neighborhood newspaper tales for decades.
In his biography “The Colonel”, Kentucky newspaper columnist John Ed Pearce wrote that the chamber posture didn’t operate out due to the fact Columbus “provided few alternatives for business entrepreneurs.”
The city only had a populace of 8,990 at the time, maybe foremost to that conclusion.
Sanders attained a reputation for going to many various communities and operating a extensive vary of positions these as farmhand, streetcar conductor, ferry operator, existence insurance representative and tire salesman. He even served as a midwife providing babies.
On the other hand he did get paid a regulation diploma and practiced in justice-of-the-peace courts in Arkansas until finally a courtroom brawl with a customer derailed his authorized profession.
Although he left Columbus in the early 1920s, Sanders produced occasional visits again to city in later a long time to check in on his nephew, Colonel Jim Sanders, who operated two community KFC-design and style dining establishments on Nationwide Street and Washington St. Both of those had been operated by “Famous Recipe,” a organization launched by Harland Sanders’ relatives following he bought the Kentucky Fried Rooster franchise. Jim Sanders died in 1989 — nine several years right after his popular uncle passed away.
An even older making
The previous residence that properties Ye Old Fish Dwelling has its own historical past. Developed in 1886 (4 years just before Harland Sanders was born), it was very first opened to the public in the 1930s as a cafeteria-design and style eatery concentrating on feeding the Arvin Industries factory staff across the road. Even so, there was a period of time of time just after Environment War II that the making served as Columbus Day Nursery, which took treatment of pre-school kids at the start of the Toddler Boom. An addition was added to the west facet of the building in the mid 1960s. Marlin Brown explained.
In 1970, the business briefly turned the 17th St. Restaurant, owned by Charles and Denio Johnson, and highlighted plate lunches and breakfast. A few years later on, new homeowners took more than who altered the name to Robinson’s Fish Sandwich, co-managed by Lois Vice Robinson. For a transient time, the cafe was owned by Donald Hudson, but due to monetary complications, the restaurant went back into the arms of the Robinson relatives.
Next a divorce, Lois took back her maiden identify of Vice and renamed the eatery Lois’ Fish Stand. Eight many years afterwards, she marketed it to Debbie Bodie and Connie Taylor.
In 1994, Dennis and Kristi Rose purchased the enterprise and right away renamed it “Ye Olde Fish House” — a name that was retained right after existing entrepreneurs and well known gospel singers Marlin and Denise Brown took over the restaurant.
For quite a few yrs, the eatery depended on website traffic from the Arvin Industries plant across the road. When the corporation grew to become Arvin-Meritor in 2004, there were 550 workforce. But just after the plant was obtained by 3 traders in Cleveland Ohio, the plant became recognised as Columbus Elements Group. Slowly, the workforce at CCG was lessened until finally it last but not least shut in late July 2009.
But Ye Olde Fish Home still enjoys level of popularity with personnel at the county’s next-major employer, Columbus Regional Wellness, Marlin Brown said. A truthful volume of his organization comes from those people affiliated with the county’s fourth most significant employer: the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., he included.
But probably their premier buyer foundation are prolonged time patrons who are loyal to the cafe just after many years of service.
“Even in this pandemic, they are trying to keep us alive and retaining us likely,” he explained.