BY LEE ANN SANDWEISS
Something exciting is happening on That Road.
Which road? Someone unfamiliar with southwestern Monroe County might wonder. But That Road is the legit name and now the site of one of the newest—and most unusual—venues for weddings and parties in the area: Sycamore Farm Bloomington, a 20-acre horse farm, that is a piece of Monroe County history dating back to the 1800s.
Owners Diann and Ted Lock had often entertained on their beautifully landscaped patio. Last summer they hosted a friend’s wedding there, and the event’s caterer and DJ suggested they open the place to the public.
“They said that people love farms and this place was really special,” Diann says. “After some thought, we decided to go for it.”
In less than a year, the Locks transformed their horse farm into a party farm. The two barns, which include former foaling stalls, have been meticulously renovated and connected by an outdoor pavilion. The facilities can accommodate everything from small parties to larger celebrations (capacity 150); a new kitchen, bathrooms, and ample electrical outlets are on the premises. Sycamore Farm already has more than a dozen events booked and hosted its first private wedding in June.
For the extensive renovation, the Locks hired local landscapers, carpenters, concreters, rock haulers, septic tank installers, large equipment owners, lumber companies, paint companies, plumbers, and electricians. In addition, Ted, a semiretired large-animal veterinarian, and his son-in-law Jason Higdon, an electrician, put in countless hours themselves.
Like her husband, Diann is semiretired and sees their new venture as a second career. A former schoolteacher and tour manager from Bedford, she considers herself a “people person” with boundless energy and the enthusiasm to take on this new challenge.
“I left the area after high school and never anticipated returning to Indiana. Now life has turned 360 degrees. We returned [from Urbana, Illinois] in 2002 to help my ailing parents, who at the time owned this farm and kept horses as a hobby. We stayed and couldn’t be happier,” Diann says. “We are excited to begin this new chapter of our lives. We are looking forward to playing a small part in the happy events in others’ lives and being part of the local business community.”