I am a historian by profession.  Since 1990 I’ve written a monthly bowling history article for Bowlers Journal International.  This is my own, personal blog, with no direct connection to BJI.

The blog will act as sort of a bowling encyclopedia and scrapbook for all the obscure stuff that has limited interest, but needs to be collected somewhere.  The focus will be on the years before 1980.  Famous bowlers, old bowling alleys, advertising, stories, statistics–whatever else comes along.

Have fun!

–J.R. Schmidt, Ph.D. (Doctor Jake)


536 Responses to “ABOUT THIS BLOG”

  1. mort luby Says:

    hi jake,

    i am working on a coffee table book of my chicago paintings. i’d like to include an old timey, picturesque bowling alley (which is still in business).

    any ideas? is pilsen still around?

    love your column.

    cheers, mort

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      The obvious answer is Southport Lanes, the place with the pinboys. But it’s been so publicized that it has become a cliche.

      For interiors, I’d definitely go with Lincoln Square Recreation, at 4874 N. Lincoln Ave. Second-floor place, eight wood alleys, and they even have a balcony. Timber Lanes (1851 W. Irving Park Rd.) is good, too–but they may have plastic lanes.

      Exteriors–Manor Bowl (3124 N. Central Ave.) or Park Manor Lanes (100 E. 75th St.)–I think they are both in business. Fireside Bowl (2648 W. Fullerton Ave.) has sort of an art-deco exterior. They operated as a dance hall for awhile, and converted back into a bowling alley a few years ago, when Marigold closed.

      If you want to go into the suburbs, I think that Skokie Lanes (on a side street near Lincoln and Oakton) is in operation. I suspect that Cicero and Berwyn still have a few old places.

      Let me know which place you finally settle on.


      • chuck c Says:

        Manor Bowl is long gone….building still stands…was a restaurant/bar last time I saw it

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I’m still sad whenever I drive by—both for Manor, and for Stratford on the next block.

    • Senti Threadgill Says:

      Hello Dr. Jake,

      I am looking for a photo for Queen Recreation Inc which was at 6236 South Ashland in Chicago — in the 1950s. I don’t see that listed here, and I was wondering if you could share a photo or point me to where I might possibly find one.

      Thank you so much!

  2. Isaac Says:

    Hello Jake,

    I have some questions about an old bowling alley in Chicago. Is there an email address that I can contact you at?

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Please put any questions about bowling alleys in the box marked “Comments,” as you did with your original question. That’s the great thing about a blog–if I don’t have an answer, maybe somebody else will see the question and be able to give you the info.

  3. KM Family Says:

    HI Dr. Jake,

    I am loving your blog!!! Its nice to see someone documenting the sport of Bowling.

    We have a biography blog of our own @


    mostly talks of my bowling Grandfather & about bowling on the east coast of the US in the 30’s & 40’s

    Hope you can stop on over & give us a look see.

    So glad I stoped on over – keep bloggin!

  4. J.R. Schmidt Says:

    Hi Munn Family–

    You have a great blog. To anyone unfamiliar with the name Whitey Munn, he was honored as a second team All-American for the 1939-40 season–which means he was one of the ten best bowlers in the country. Keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing more.

  5. Anthony Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake,
    This is going to seem like a pretty unusual request but I was hoping to find out more info on Tony Sparando. He is my Biological Grandfather, however my father was conceived through an affair between Tony and a young woman who worked at one of his Bowling lanes.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I did not know Tony Sparando personally, so I can’t help you much. The USBC Bowling Museum in Arlington (Texas) has DVDs of his matches on the old “Championship Bowling” TV series, and they also have a file on him. You might want to get in touch with Chuck Pezzano. He’s the dean of bowling writers–he’s been covering our sport for over a half-century, particularly in the NYC area.

  6. Ron Says:

    Hello Jake,

    I happened to come upon a story about Angelina Jolie where she talks about her mother the actress Marcheline Bertrand, who was born in Riverdale and grew up spending lots of time in the bowling alley her parents owned. Having been a long time resident of Chicago and an avid bowler myself my first thought was, was it Bertrand Lanes in Waukegan? That however does not seem to be the case and I was wondering if anyone knows the name of the bowling alley her parents owned and if it is still there.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I read that story, too, and had the same thought. I checked with Jim Dressel of BJI. Jim reminded me that the guy who owned the PBA stop in Waukegan was Roy Bertrand, and that Roy bought Billy Carter’s old gas station sometime in the early 1980s. Since Angelina’s Grandpa Bertrand died in 1974, it couldn’t be the same person. Of course, Grandpa Bertrand could be a brother of Roy Bertrand, or some other relative. Anybody out there know for sure?

  7. Jennifer Hayden Says:

    Jake –

    My mom’s been bugging me for a while to try to find out the name of a bowling alley she used to frequent that had dances and a pretty famous DJ (Jim Lounsberry) back in the late 50’s/early 60’s. It was located near the 4700 block of West Madison in Chicago. Any help you or others can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The place was called the Keyman’s Club. The bowling was in the basement, and it was located on the south side of the street. I believe it closed in the late 1960s. Sorry, I don’t have a picture!

    • Hank Morris Says:

      I believe there was a bowling alley on Morse Avenue (Chicago) at or about 1400 W.
      What, if anything, do you know about it?

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        The Morse Avenue Recreation Center was located at 1308 West Morse Avenue in 1956. Phone number was SHeldrake 3-9504. That’s all the information I have.

      • Ralph Says:

        That building has been gone for almost 29 years now. (per the CCA’s office)

  8. Cindy Costantino Says:

    Hi Jake,

    I was wondering if you had any information on a Carmen Costantino, Sr. who is my father. He was a professional bowler and I came across an old picture of him from 1962-63 Petersen Classic. He has participated in many ABC Bowling Tournaments. He was a professional back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

    Thank you so much!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’ve checked my files, and I don’t have anything on Carmen Costantino. Sorry I couldn’t help!

  9. Doug Cooper Says:

    Dr. Jake,

    I came across your blog while surfing on the internet. It is truly enjoyable and well worth the time to explore it. I have a similar ‘album’ on FACEBOOK about all the old bowling centers that have closed in the Dayton, Ohio area.

    Doug Cooper

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Though I was in Dayton for the 1975 ABC, the only commercial center I bowled at was Varsity Lanes, where the National Industrial Tournament was always held. I understand that place is long gone.

      • Doug Cooper Says:

        Thanks for your reply, Dr. Jake. I drilled balls for AMF in the 1975 ABC (and for H & L in Reno in 1977), so I might have run into you during your stay in Dayton. I bowled in the old Varsity Classic League (1967-1971). It broke my heart when it was demolished several years ago. By the way, do you remember a Chicago pro named Therm Davis (1960’s)?

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I remember Therm Davis very well, though I didn’t know him personally. I believe he tried the PBA for awhile.

      • brian carpenter sr. Says:

        I was at the ABC that year and the only thing I remember was a bar called Mac’s – the lady behind the bar was Mac and she had a .45 Cal. pistol hanging over the cash register with a sign “yes, it is loaded”.

  10. skip justice Says:

    Jake: I just saw Ron davis over the weekend. We are trying to get a bio together for Therm Davis (his dad) for the Illinois HOF.

    Therm Davis passed away in 2007.

    Skip Justice

  11. Doug Cooper Says:

    Dr. Jake: Back in the mid-to-late 1960’s after first getting my driver’s license, I used to drive downtown (Dayton) to the Varsity on weekends during its annual holiday sweeper (back then a ‘sweeper’ was 4 games across 8 lanes – or 5 across 10, etc – with total pins determining the winner). My biggest hope was that the bowlers from Detroit’s great teams, e.g., Stroh’s, Goebel Beer, John F. Ivory, etc., would be in town. But one day, Chicago’s Therman Gibson was crossing in the tournament and although I knew little about him at the time, I was really taken at how good he was. Later he made at least one TV finals on ABC-TV’s Pro Bowlers Tour. He was fun to watch. I’m sorry to hear that he passed away in 2007.

    Doug Cooper

  12. Katherine Gogolak Says:

    Dr. Jake, I have long heard that my grandfather George F. Sauer was National Bowling Champion. I had no Proof other than a medal with the date of ’07 on it. I found your Blog and sure enough there he is with a score of 657! I know very little about him or the event . Do you know where it took place? Thanks so much Kathy Gogolak

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Glad to help! The 1907 NBA Tournament was held at Young’s Iron Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The total entry was 120 teams, which was a sizeable number for the time. My April 2010 article in “Bowlers Journal International” gives the history of the NBA Tournament, although I don’t mention George Sauer by name.

  13. Patrick Says:

    Hey Dr. Jake,

    Do you have any info on “North Center Bowl” – it was on Linclon Ave upstairs from a TV store 1 block north of Irving on Lincoln Ave – a small 12 lane place – they shot the Forrest Whitaker scene of “Color Of Money” there back in 1985 ????



    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I remember bowling in the place, and I might have an exterior shot somewhere. Keep watching!

    • Ralph Says:

      It closed around 1998-99 according to some people who were there on another website. The closing time seems about right to me. The store below, the name of it was Alan’s. They sold appliances and electronics.

  14. Ron Says:

    I bowled there as a kid in the late 40s and early 50s. Sorry I don’t have a lot to help you. I believe it was located above and to the North of the North Center Theater which was, along with the appliance store the two main “things” on the block. I pretty sure it was not above the theater as the noise would have been to much for the viewers. One thing I DO remember is that there was a back entrance going upstairs from Damen Ave. The other place I bowled during that time was Lincoln Lanes, also a small house on the second floor on the Northwest corner of Rosco and Lincoln, which no one seems to remember as being there.

  15. RJ Rolak Says:

    Send your e-mail address for Lubanski Bowling Feature and Photo.


  16. Andrew Walsh Says:

    This is an amazing resource for bowlers with an interest in the game’s history. I just came across it today. Personally, I’m really into the game and I like to learn about how the sport has developed in the US over the last century. It’s great to see some of this information in a blog, and not just in history books that are often hard to track down.

    I’m actually working on a bowling website myself, in which I intend to give short write ups of the most interesting alleys and have bowlers add their opinions.


    When possible, I like to include interesting back stories of the alleys as well. If you had a chance, it would be great if you wanted to let me know what you think.

    I’m going to go back and check out more of your posts. I’ve added your blog to the blogroll section of my site.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks for the kind comments. Since there’s a limited market for bowling books, I’m glad the web is here for all of us. I’ll be looking for your website.

  17. George Lewis Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake:

    I am looking for any and all information beyond what can be found on Wikipedia concerning the old National Bowling League formed, and folded, in the early 60s. Can you help?

    Great blog!


    George Lewis

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Printed below is a bibliography of some NBL articles:

      Bine, Al. “The NBL Will Fail!” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:47-48.
      Bordman, Sid. “NBL’s Second ‘Debut.'” Bowlers Journal, Aug 1961:21-25.
      Bunetta, Bill, att Dick Denny. “The NBL Is No Gamble.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:37-38.
      Cruchon, Steve. “A Dream Became a Nightmare.” Bowling Digest, Dec 1984:38-41.
      __________. “The Dream That Went Awry.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1964:34-41.
      __________. “In the Wake of Disaster.” Bowlers Journal, Dec 1964:16-23.
      __________. “Magnificent Fiasco.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1973:84-93.
      __________. “The Short, Unhappy Life of the NBL.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1964:16-24.
      Denny, Dick. “Opening Night in Detroit.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1961:44-51.
      Hengen, Bill. “NBL Moves Ahead.” Bowling, Nov 1960:25.
      Luby, Mort Jr. “A Good Meeting.” Bowlers Journal, Apr 1961:23-26.
      __________. “Point of No Return.” Bowlers Journal. Nov 1960:33-40.
      __________. “Silver Anniversary of a Disaster.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1986:16-18.
      McDonough, Pat. “In Grand Central Station, Yet.” Bowlers Journal, Sep 1960:49.
      Pezzano, Chuck. “Bowling League Stirs Memories of ’61 Flop.” The Sporting News, Feb 28, 1976:30.
      __________. “A Short-Lived National League.” The Sporting News, Jun 17, 1972:54,
      __________. “What Happened to the NBL?” Bowling, Sep 1962:46,80.
      Pluckhahn, Bruce. “Right Idea, Wrong Time.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1993:225-226.
      Snyder, Don. “A Cautious Cheer.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:59-64.
      __________. “Breaking the Big Secret.” Bowling, Jan 1983:6,40.
      __________. “Day of Reckoning.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:23-35.
      __________. “No Longer a Pipe Dream.” Bowlers Journal, Jan 1960:31-32.
      __________. “Pow-Wow in Chicago.” Bowlers Journal, Apr 1960:33-34.
      __________. “The Brains Behind the New National Bowling League.” Bowlers Journal, Mar 1960:27-31.
      __________. “The Men Behind the NBL.” Bowlers Journal, Jun 1960:5-12.
      Wade, Harless. “Problems Facing the NBL.” Official Bowling Review, May 1961:40-43.
      __________. “The NBL Will Succeed!” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:49-50.
      Wessling, Frank. “They’re Ready to Roll in the Pro Circuit.” Bowling, Oct 1961:30-31.
      “Dapper Debut in Dallas.” Bowling, Jul 1961:26,38.
      “Fresno: A Five Minute Decision.” Bowlers Journal, Feb 1961:23-28.
      “How the Press Views the NBL.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:9-14.
      “NBL Suspends Play.” Bowling, Aug 1962:22.
      “Team Roundups.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:39-46.
      “The Magnificent Fiasco.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1983:136-137.
      “The NBL Can Succeed, So Give It a Chance.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:4-5.
      “The NBL Signs Its First Bowler.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1960:22.

      NBL DRAFT.
      Wade, Harless. “Player Draft Next for NBL.” Bowling, Jun 1960:23,41.
      Williams, Bob. “The NBL Draft.” Bowlers Journal, Aug 1960:5-9,12.
      “Step Toward Reality.” Bowling, Aug 1960:26,42.

      Evans, Dick. “NBL Style Scoring.” Bowlers Journal, Apr 1961:19-20.
      Snyder, Don. “A-Okay For NBL Scoring.” Bowlers Journal, Jul 1961:17-20.
      “How NBL Scoring Works.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1961:28.

      NBL WORLD SERIES (1962).
      Cruchon, Steve. “National Bowling League Playoff.” Bowling, Sep 1972:4,41.
      Denny, Dick. “The NBL Limps Home, Scarred But Proud.” Bowlers Journal, Jun 1962:64-67.
      “The Pros Call It a Season.” Bowling, Jun 1962:16.


  18. Howard Schultz Says:

    My grandfather was William G. (Bill) Schultz, and was a partner in ownership of Rolaway Recreation in Chicago. He was also president of the BPAA of greater Chicago in the early 1950’s.

    Do you know where I could find any info on the alley, either pictures or articles? The alley was in business from 1941-1965.

    Thanks very much for your help—

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Rolaway was an AMF house at 4840 North Pulaski Road. I bowled there a few times as a teenager. Sorry, but I don’t have any pictures. If anyone else out there does, please send them in!

    • Vito Caputo Says:

      Howard… You were just a kid when I first started working at Rolaway…. 1958- 63… high school into college… ‘bossed’ around by your Dad and Uncle Leo. Your grandfather was the executive that disappeared into the office until he left for the day.I really loved those guys. George, Junior and I shared the tool room in the basement behind the machines. At the time… I think you wanted to be doctor… and my name was different.

      I don’t have any photos. The original building had 24 alleys and the adjacent building was modified to add an additional 8 alleys. The counter was L-shaped and on the right side as you walked in – the bar room (fully enclosed) was on the right. The entrance path faced alley 13-14. There was a snack bar/grill with a u-shaped counter located next to the desk across from alley17-18. Shoe rental across from alley 19 followed by locker rooms w/plumbing. I think the “executive office” was across from alley 23-24… and there was also a small office behind the counter. The snack bar was eventually replaced with vending machines (bummer). There was a parking lot across the street.

      Perhaps this description will satisfy your needs.

    • Tom Ferber Says:

      I was one of the Rolaway Teenpinners Traveling League Team in the 60’s We bowled every Sunday at various houses on the North Side. (Gateway, Timber Lanes, etc) and actually won the league one year. I think I still have the trophy we got for that 50+ years later. I bowled as a Rolaway teammate for a couple of years and wondered what ever became of the rest of the guys. Alan Schultz was one of our staunchest supporters as well as Leo Katz. Our captain the year that we won the Trveling League was Ron Weber and some of the other guys were Mike Litt, Fred Meyerowitz and a number of others taht circulated in and out of the competition as Alan saw fit. As we all got through high school (and too old for AJBC competition) and led our lives, many of us just went our separate ways. I am now retired in Arizona.

      I originally learned to bowl there when I was about 13 (that was in the days when it cost $0.35/line to bowl) and worked in the Snack Bar from the time I started as the “potato peeler” and the guy that hand cut the French Fries when I was in my early teens.That went on for a number of years as I worked my way up through the ‘ranks’ as soda jerk (really?) then promoted to the grill as I gained the trust and friendship of Mickey and Marv who managed the snack bar.

      • howard schultz Says:


        I came across an article in the Trib archives about a stabbing murder of Steven Johnson (an employee of Rolaway) in 1958, in Rolaway itself. Do you recall that? My Dad (Alan Schultz) never said anything about it to me.

    • Beth Reuschel Says:

      In doing some family history work I found on my Great Grandfather’s WWII draft card that he worked at Rolaway, apparently in the 40’s. It is also mentioned on a note my Great Aunt made years ago when she also was doing family history work that he worked to pay back his sponsor- which would be the person who paid his passage when he immigrated. The note is unclear if it is Rolaway or when he lived in NY (which I think it was probably NY). Anyhow, my Grandma his daughter in law is 97 and still remembers this bowling alley as she was an avid bowler for years and years. My Great Grandfather was Rudolph Perz, and my Gram is Dorothy Schmidt. Both were from the ‘original’ Six Corners in Chicago. I’ve found more articles on the Trib’s archives, one about when Rolaway opened and it has pictures! Thanks for this blog, and JR Schmidt your research has helped me in many ways as I find it online. I’m trying to compile Chicago history/family history but live in Pittsburgh so much is done online.
      Beth Reuschel

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        When I launched this blog in 2009, I never dreamed of the ways people would use it. I’m happy that you’ve all found it helpful.


    I came up with a few more bowling alleys but no pictures yet. KING BOWL(81ST & King Dr.) NEELANDS GLOBE BOWL, MARINA CITY, & ARGO BOWL.

    • Ralph Says:

      Marina City Bowl is now 10 Pin. When built it was 34 lanes and now it only 24 lanes. I have not been in 10 Pin Bowl since it was remodeled.

  20. R. Gordon Says:

    Dr. Jake,
    Thank you for the return of many happy memories that I had with my Dad who built, repaired and sanded bowling alleys from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. I grew up working with him and many of those now gone places are on this site. Now looking back, if I only went outside and took a photograph of the building it would have a place for all eternity. Again, thank you for your time in putting all this information together.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      And I wish I had taken some pictures on the inside. But many of the places were closed during the day when I drove by with my camera.

  21. Carl Miller Says:

    Great site

  22. Pam Whiting Says:

    Hello, Dr. Jake –
    My grandmother, Hazel Bark of Cleveland, Ohio, was captain of a women’s bowling team in 1918 that did an east coast tour that year. An article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 6, 1918, quotes the Bowlers’ Journal as reporting “Great crowds turned out to see the ladies bowl and their visit did the bowling game a lot of good as it gained favorable publicity and the ladies of New York learned much of the game through watching the Cleveland girls bowl.”

    Any idea how I can find a copy of that from the Journal? There was also a story, according to the Plain Dealer, in the NY Tribune who referred to my grandmother and her two friends as “one of the most formidable bowling teams in the country.”

    Her two older brothers owned a two-lane bowling alley in Cleveland. She ran it during the day while they worked. Not much business at first but, always entrepreneurial, she got the ladies of the neighborhood interested in bowling. Several of them – including my grandmother – got really good. They played as the “Favorite Knits” team in a number of Cleveland tournaments.

    Thanks for any help you might be able to give.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’ve checked Bowlers Journal for early 1918, and could not find the article. I’m referring to the Chicago-based Bowlers Journal, which is still being published as a monthly magazine.

      However, there was also a New-York based Bowlers Journal being published around the same period. That BJ went out of business. Since the action happened in the East, maybe that’s the BJ you need. The Bowling Museum in Texas has many bound volumes of the New York BJ, tho I’m not sure how long a run they have.


  23. Rick Koskela Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake,

    I wonder if you recall the name of an old bowling alley that was destroyed in a large fire (back in the 60’s or late 50’s, I think). It was located on Clark Street (east side of the street) and just north of Belmont Ave. The lanes were upstairs, as I recall. They used to have the Red Head pins too… bowl a strike when the red pin was #1 and you would win a free game.


    Rick Koskela / Scottsdale, AZ

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      That was the (second) Lakeview Recreation, at 3239 North Clark Street. I have a 1958 phone book that says it had “50 bowling lanes, 2 dance halls.”

      • Rick Koskela Says:

        Thanks very much for the info on Lakeview. FYI… I found out an interesting tidbit from a friend of my mother’s. She said that in the 50’s, she recalled an incident involving the dance halls on the floor above the bowling lanes. Apparently (on St.Patrick’s Day one year) a large group of Irish folks had a big party and the floor collapsed during some energetic dancing. Quite a few folks were hurt when they fell through the ceiling of the bowling lanes below.

  24. Patrick Says:

    Hey J.R.

    Found this regarding the bowling alley on Clark near Belmont


    • Richard Says:

      I was there that day. Fire started in a room behind our lane. Ran to a friends house across the street and watched the fire from his living room window. Walked home in bowling shoes as I left my shoes in the building. I was 12 years old.

      • Sev Delabar Says:

        I was there that day also, bowling with my dad, brother, and cousin. I ran home to call WLS with the news tip because they were giving $89 for the story of the week. Sad to say that there was a tip about a bigger fire and I didn’t win.

  25. sue smith Says:

    Hey Dr. Jake,

    Wondering if you know the name of the bowling alley that was on the north side of Madison just west of Central Ave. It was on the second floor.


  26. Liam Snell Says:

    Hi Doctor Jake

    My Great Uncle Leo Krisch built and owned Irving Park Recreation, 5710 Irving Park Road and my Grandfather Carl Schnapp owned Southport Lanes, my Uncle Leo Bitz ran it for him in his later years… Leo Krisch was a member of a five man team that won the ABC’s and was also on the Brunswick advisory staff for both Bowling and Pool, I remember him fondly, he left a lasting impression on my life. Thanks for your work on this site.

    Bill Snell

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I grew up near Irving Park Lanes, and actually set pins there once. I didn’t work there, but I kept pestering the lady in charge. She finally let me try it for a game or two. The lady’s name was Alice–I don’t recall her last name. BTW, caddying was much easier!

      • bob gibson Says:

        You are right I set pins at Ray Schalks Evergreen Towers for a couple of seasons and caddied at Ridge CC for ten years on the far south side in the early 50’s. We did have semi-auto pinsetters and not the manuel. I believe I got .14 cents a line.
        At least we had jobs.

    • bwl58 Says:

      Bill Snell: I have a Sun Times article & photo of your Uncle Leo Bitz
      (I thought i remember seeing it spelled Beitz) and I also have a rare videotape of your uncle & Southport Lanes from a WBBM TV show in the late 70’s. Would you like a copy? Let me know your email.

  27. Liam Snell Says:

    I hear ya Jake

    Alice and Eddy worked with my great aunt and uncle for many years… They where a great couple, I used to help Eddy clean the place early mornings on the weekends and oil the lanes sometimes after school… Thanks for reminding me…

    Be well

  28. joni senn Says:

    I was hoping to find a photo or hear any stories of G&L Bowling Alley/Lanes on the south side of Chicago Avenue at Pulaski or one block east of Pulaski. Not sure of all years on business, but during the ‘1960’s for sure.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of G&L. It was out of business by the time I got a good camera in 1973. But I did bowl there a couple of times when I was in the Catholic High School Bowling League during the 1960s. I bowled for Loyola, and G&L was the home house for St. Philip’s High. Before that, they had bowled out of Cascade. There’s a fast-food place on the corner there now.

  29. sue smith Says:

    Siena High School (Central & Washington) bowled at G&L ’66’-68.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks! If anyone has any old Chicago bowling alley pictures that they’d like to share, please email them my way.

  30. Mike Adriansen Says:

    I found your blog through the Bowlers Journal sent by my brother Don. Do you remember Ed Geffert who maintained the machines at Empire. I worked for him for a while at several houses. Would love to contact him if he is still around. Best to you and the family. Mike Adriansen

  31. Brenda Harnisch Says:

    Hello. I just completed my father’s (Thomas “Tom” Harnisch) hall of fame applications for Greater Buffalo and NYS USBC associations. I compiled his statistics and came up w/something different than what you have on your website. I have documentation of everything. Here is my tally:

    • One (1) PBA Tournament Victory
    – 1964 Betrand PBA Open

    • One (1) National Doubles Tournament Victory
    – 1965 23rd Annual National Match-Game Doubles Championship

    • In other PBA (Individual) Tournaments:

    – Another five (5) Top 5 finishes (for six (6) in all)
     4th Place in 1964 $60,000 PBA 5th Annual National Championship
     4th Place in 1964 $52,000 PBA 8th Annual World Invitational Bowling Tournament
     4th Place in 1964 BPAA All-Star Tournament
     4th Place in 1966 USBC (ABC) Masters Championship
     4th Place in 1966 PBA Firestone Tournament of Champions

    – Another eight (8) Top 10 finishes (for fourteen (14) in all)
     7th Place in 1964 $21,000 Dallas Home Furniture PBA Open
     5th Place in 1963 Canadian PBA Open
     6th Place in 1963 Chicago Coca-Cola PBA Open
     9th Place in 1963 Alton PBA Open
     9th Place in 1963 Hialeah PBA Open
     11th Place in 1964 Las Vegas PBA Open
     8th Place in 1965 Fair Lanes PBA Open
     7th Place in 1966 St. Paul PBA Open

    – Another nine (9) Top 20 finishes (for twenty-three (23) in all)
     11th Place in 1965 PBA 9th Annual World Invitational Bowling Tournament
     19th Place in 1964 Birmingham Coca-Cola PBA Open
     11th Place in 1965 Louisville PBA Open
     11th Place in 1966 Reading PBA Open
     11th Place in 1966 Camden PBA Open
     16th Place in 1966 Labor Day Classic
     14th Place in 1967 Brut PBA Open
     16th Place in 1967 Green Bay PBA Open
     16th Place in 1969 Cougar PBA Open

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks for your note. I do have your Dad listed as winning the Match-Game Doubles in 1965 (under STATS). Good luck with the Hall of Fame applications.

  32. Mike Adriansen Says:

    Today as I looked again at the old photo section of your blog, I looked at the header for the first time. In the past I thought it was a generic shot of the old ABC tournament scoreboard. Imagine my surprise when I noticed the names on the scoresheets. Great fun to see the names of the old Empire crowd. Do you remember what year you used as the header, or where the event was held? Also, I couldn’t make out your name anywhere. Are any of the guys who are still alive, still bowling? I last saw Dave Ohm about 8 years ago, and he had given it up because he couldn’t afford the time.I remember him saying his daughter carried a very strong average through H.S. and College. Mike Adriansen

  33. Mike Grau Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake-
    I found a picture of my grand father, Ace Mitchell, on your blog. I was wondering if you have any more pictures of him? I also have a couple of pictures you might be interested in, such as our original storefront in downtown Akron, OH.

  34. David Sobanski Says:

    I would like to help you.
    My father is Sylvester Sobanski, who is considered the founder of the All Stars, along with Howard C. Seehausen. Dad’s sister complied a scrapbook of Dads career, and I believe I could blow your mind. Please contact me.

  35. John Says:

    Dr. Jake,
    Love the blog and have linked it to the PCL Link Dump at: http://easydreamer.blogspot.com/

    Been a long time bowling fan since my youth and love the collection you’ve put together here!

    Keep up the good work,

  36. Bill Whyte Says:

    I found this site here earlier today… AWESOME INFORMATION!!! I’m from Massachusetts and one thing that I did see while scrolling thru the “Old Chicago Bowling Alleys” was that one house put CANDLEPINS in on the 4th floor!!! As you know, candlepins is regional and has rarely strayed past New England! Would you have any more information on candlepin bowling in the Chicago area? I’ve been able to verify single closed houses in San Francisco, California area, South Dakota, and Rochester, New York area. Might have a lead on a possible closed split house in Florida too. Anything that you might know would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Bill Whyte

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I assume you were looking at the “comments” under the Congress Arcade/Mill Bowl post. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any further information about the candepins there. I believe they put them in about 1963, and got rid of them a few years later. The candlepins were gone by 1975, the date of the picture.

  37. Susan Howe Says:

    Great blog, Dr. Jake. Hank Lauman was my grandfather, and it’s great to see these old photos here. My dad’s whole family were excellent bowlers, and it’s really neat to see someone devote the time to collect and post this material. I just read somewhere that Don Carter died in January. He was at my dad’s funeral in Miami back in the 70s. So many memories of times gone by.

  38. Dee McNair Says:

    I would like some info on Hi-Spot Lanes which was on Grand Ave.Any info would be great. I grew up there just about, my parents owned the snack bar.What memories.I wish the picture of it was a little better.Enjoy your blog.

  39. deemcnair Says:

    So glad I found this blog. My parents owned the snack bar at Hi Spot Lanes on Grand Ave. Would love any more info on this alley, when it closed etc. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Loved the pic, brings back memory’s!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The picture is from the 1970s. I don’t know exactly when Hi Spot went out of business, but I used to pass the shuttered building on my way to work as late as 2007.

  40. Kevin Vahey Says:

    I am trying to remember an alley that a couple of White Sox fans brought me to after a game in 1981. What I remember clearly it was across from a pinball factory. Any idea?

  41. Kevin Vahey Says:

    Thanks – When I was living in Chicago in the 80’s I was in a league at Howard Bowl – I understand that is long gone.

    Boston is home and both candlepins and ten pins are dying. 😦

  42. Jerry Lippe Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,
    My name is Jerry Lippe. Harry Lippe is my father. I am asking for your help in finding some old television broadcasts of bowling matches in which my father participated. I believe these televised matches were contested in the Chicago area on local television. I also believe that they took place in the late 1950’s. I would very much like to get any of these broadcasts converted to DVD for an invaluable keep sake. Any help you can offer would be greatly apprciated. Thank you for your considerations.

    Jerry Lippe

    P.S. Also is there any way I can get a copy of the photograph of my father that you have on your website?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The photo of your Dad was scanned from an old bowling magazine, and can easily be copied from my post. I believe he’s on one or two of the old team pictures, such as Meister Brau. When the Bowling Museum was in St. Louis, they let the public rent old “Championship Bowling” DVDs, and I did rent the Lippe vs. Bomar match from 1954 at Faetz-Niesen. The Bowling Museum is now at USBC Headquarters in Texas. I don’t know if they still rent the DVDs, but they might make an exception for the son of a hall-of-famer. Good luck!

    • Tom Ferber Says:

      Jerry – I bowled with your father at Forest Lanes in Lyons in the 70’s. It was the league from St. Mary’s in Riverside. Not many there knew (or realized) his bowling background, but having seen him on Championship Bowling so many times when I was a kid, I recognized his approach/style immediately. He was a nice guy, but really didn’t care to talk much about “the old days’. He was just “one of us” . . out to have a good time and enjoy bowling.

  43. Loren Argall Says:

    Hello, I am interested in any information on
    Austin Bowl on Division Street in Chicago, or
    Lorraine Bowl on Cicero Avenue in Chicago.
    I have an 8mm color movie of the Austin Bowl
    fire circa 1963 if that is any interest to you.

    Loren Argall
    Huntley, Illinois

  44. Bob Schumacher Says:

    In response to your article in the June 2012, I vaguely recall a Jerry Howard working for a bowling distributor called Western Columbia located in a L.A. suburb in the mid-70’s. On a less serious note, if you’re looking for Bobby Jacks, make sure to check the jail rolls in Louisianas!!

  45. Skip Justice Says:

    Jake: Ralph Slaber Sr passed away at the age of 85 on June 25, 2012. He won an abc eagle in the team event in 1962. Les Zikes was on the team. Did you get my list of the 202 bowling center that i have bowled in over the years?
    Skip Justice

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Skip– Thanks for telling me about Ralph Sr. He was one of the nicer guys I got to know thru bowling. I’ll pass the word on. And I did get your list–it’s longer than mine. Best,Jake

  46. Loren Argall Says:

    I remember Lorraine Bowl (it is long gone), bowling on two floors but the check in desk
    was on the second floor. I don’t know how
    they monitored the first floor. They had AMF
    pin setters. I liked Brunswick, so I remember
    this well.

  47. Barry Asher Says:

    Since I found the blog I find myself checking it out on a daily basis.
    Your time and effort is appreciated by anyone who loves the sport of bowling

  48. brenda Says:

    hello would like to know what was the official owners name of A & L bowling Centers in Chicago during the 1960s Are the owners still alive? need info by Aug. 8

  49. Skip Justice Says:

    Jake: Thanks for the list of Bowling Centers in the 1960 yellow pages. I will update my list.


    Skip Justice

  50. Diane Rice Says:

    Hi, I’m looking for information on a bowler named Vincent “bear tracks” Rice from Marquette, Michigan. He and his partner (I don’t know the name” had the world record score for a doubles tournament which took place sometime in the 30’s or 40’s. For years when you looked up bowling stats in almanacs their achievement was listed as the world record. 25 years ago when we would take our kids to a bookstore we would always check out the almanacs to show them their great grandfathers record. Now we can’t find it listed anywhere. Could you help us; I’m sure you have many old sports almanacs at your disposal. Thanks

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’m sorry, but I can’t find anything on Vincent “Bear Tracks” Rice. But perhaps someone who reads this will be able to help you–it’s happened before.

  51. Bob Kugler Says:

    I was wondering if anyone had a photo of the Bowlodrome Bowling Alley located at the corner of Broadview & West 25th St. In Cleveland Ohio. It opened in the mid 50’s and was one of the first with automatic pin setter. Later it was destroyed in a fire in the late 60’s. A newpaper photo of the fire would be good also. Also looking for any photos of Broadview Recreation a smaller bowling alley and pool hall located close by above the Broadview Theatre. I bowled at both in the late 50’s, early 60’s. Thanks for any help. Bob

  52. john mckenzie Says:

    Hi, I have some great pictures of the Milo -Wiesner Bowling alley located at 35th and Halsted when the building was just opened. I have pictures of the inside and outside of buidling. Let me know if you would like copies of these pictures (they were found in the walls of a building being torn down). Also I was wondering if I could use your TWO photos of Nap’s bowling alley (W.26th street) for a publication. Please let me know – thanks!

    • Lori Scholtens Says:

      John, just found this website tonight and read that you have some photos of Milo-Wiesner Bowling Alley. I would love to see these photos. My Grandfather was the proprietor of Bowling Lanes and then became the proprietor of Milo-Wiesner until it closed. Did have some photos a while ago, but lost most of them in a flood. I would love to share them with my brothers and my family. My father worked there for many years and later became the proprietor of Palisade Lanes on 115th & Halsted.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t have any pictures of Bowling Lanes or Milo Wiesner Recreation. I did run pictures of Milo Wiesner (the man) and of Palisade.

  53. Hal Norman Says:

    Back in the 60’s, at a house on the southeast side of Chicago (71st and Jeffery), there was an alley named Bryn Mawr Bowl. My family was trying to remember the name of a terrific bowler there with a great average and several 300 games to his credit. His first name was Johnny, and he was tall, slim, and red haired. Can you fill in his last name and any relevant stats? Thank You!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I don’t know–but maybe somebody out there does. BTW, there’s a picture of Bryn Mawr Bowl in the category “OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.”

  54. Rob Reid Says:

    Hi Jake,
    I’m working on a coffee table book about the history of my Chicago neighborhood, Avondale. Could we get permission to use your photo of Rainbo Lanes (https://bowlinghistory.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/raibo-lanes-chicago-bowling-alley/)? If so, would it be possible to re-scan the original at a higher, book-friendly resolution? In exchange we could offer a citation as well as a 1950s photo of the interior of Rainbo Lanes.



  55. Dan Marazzo Says:

    Hi Jake,
    I am looking for some info on Northwest Bowl that used to be on Milwaukee Ave. Any info you can give me on there would be greatly appreciated…..im looking for general info on the center, history etc. as well as any pictures if you have any.

  56. Mike Jones Says:

    Dear Dr. Jake: I live on the southeast side of the city in the Hegewisch neighborhood. As a kid I bowled at Penguin Lanes and then through my teen years and as an adult I bowled at Hegewisch Lanes. I bowled a 300 game at Hegewisch Lanes on the last pair – 15&16. Thanks for the great picture of the exteriors of both Penguin Lanes and Hegewisch Lanes! Do you, or anyone who reads your blog, have any pictures of the interior of Hegewisch Lanes? My E-mail address is mikeredsfan@sbcglobal.net if you (or they) would like to send them to me.

    Also, have you ever heard of a down-in-the-basement bowling alley on 79th and Cheltenham Place? It was called Cheltenham Lanes and I bowled my very first game there when I was 4 years old! That’s when I fell in love with the game of bowling and I have grown to have a great passion and love for the sport. Even today I strive to respect the game everytime I roll a ball.

    Your blog is great! One more thing – any information on Town & Country Bowl in Northlake and Super Bowl and Riviera Lanes in Melrose Park?


    Sincerely, Mike Jones, Hegewisch, IL

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      Cheltenham Lanes was is business at least as early as 1938. The proprietor was Jerry Skovie, who later owned Pla-Mor at 79th and Jeffery, and who operated a well-known singles sweeper for years. Although I bowled there at least once, I don’t have any pictures of Cheltenham. Nor do I have anything on Super Bowl or Riviera Lanes, other than a matchbook. But perhaps some reader can share with both of us.

      Last year I did an article about Hegewisch on my Chicago History blog. You can access it at

      I’ll be on the “Morning Shift” program on WBEZ (91.5 FM) this morning at about 9:45 talking Chicago history, including some bowling.


  57. Bowla300 Says:

    Thank you Mr. Schmidt for your comments and follow-up. Hegewisch is a great place to live – next time you visit our area I’ll host you for dinner and show you all my bowling memorabilia!

    How about some information on some of the great bowling establishments in nearby northwest Indiana that are gone now. Townehouse Lanes in Whiting, IN, Stardust Bowl in Hammond, IN, Bowl-Era Lanes in Hammond, IN, and Pin Bowl Lanes in Hessville, IN to name a few. At one time bowling was a big deal in the Calumet region and that’s how I got most of my experience and knowledge of the game. I traveled all over the northwest Indiana area bowling in leagues and tournaments.

    Mr. Schmidt, were you aware of these two “classic” leagues – the Burr Oak 5-Point Major and the Northwest Indiana Classic League? The 5-Point bowled at Burr Oak Bowl in Blue Island and the NWICL bowled at Plaza Lanes in Highland, IN. Both of these leagues featured the best bowlers in the region and I had the great privilege of bowling alongside names such as Don McCune, Gordy Baer, Bob Wronski, Jim Stefanich, Dave Norton, Steve Jaros, and many more outstanding bowlers and Hall of Famers. This experience further hieghtened my love of bowling and I learned volumes of information from these great competitors and sportsmen.

    I just want to let you know I have old standing sheets from both of these leagues in my archives. If you would be interested in seeing them or using them on your website I will be happy to share them with you. Please let me know.

    Ah, one more thing. Any information on the former Scottsdale Lanes in Burbank and the former Oak Lawn Bowl in Oak Lawn? Both of these houses were good places to bowl and my travels took me there many times.

    Thanks again for your reply! Your blog is fantastic!

    Mike Jones, Hegewisch, IL

  58. Mike Jones Says:

    Dear Mr. Schmidt: Just heard you on the radio show! Great job! I love hearing about the old days of bowling. I am a veteran of 19 USBC Tournaments myself. You’ll be hitting the 50 mark in a few years! Congratulations!

    I am very proud to say that in 1995 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV I bowled a 300 game in the team event of the the then American Bowling Congress National Tournament! That was the greatest moment of my life on the lanes.

    I just wanted to mention that if you happen to be looking for a bowler to join your group for national tournament this year or in the future please consider me – I’m not connected with a group right now and I would welcome the chance to bowl nationals once again. I love national tournament! My telephone number is 773-646-3462 if you want to reach me and you obviously have my E-mail address.

    Thanks! Again, great job on the radio and great job on the blog!

    Mike Jones, Hegewisch, IL

  59. Skip Justice Says:

    Bob Wronski, Dave Kappel deserve to be in the Illinois Hall of Fame. Maybe this year.

  60. Mike Jones Says:

    Skip – you are right! How could I fail to mention Dave Kappel and Dennis Campbell? Also Al Bruder. As I remember the guys’ names I bowled with in the classic leagues I’ll list them.

  61. Skip Justice Says:

    Mike: I see Dennis Campbell at the Hall of Fame Dinner Every year.

    Other great names Alfie Cohn, Rich Supanich, Mike Steinbach, Therm Davis, Bob Mills, Fred Hansen, Jerry Edwards.

  62. Mike Jones Says:

    Once again Skip you’re right on the money. Let’s not forget about Bill Slateritz and Tony Babs and Rick Sajek and Jim Kontos. I have an old standings sheet from the Burr Oak 5-Point Classic League. Reading the list of bowlers’ names is like reading a bolwing All-Star roster!

  63. Arnie Ami Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake,
    I grew up in Chicago and lived in Albany Park my first 20 yrs. On of my favorite places to bowl was The ALBA Bowling alley, Alba Bowling Lanes, 4814 N. Kedzie Ave., I bowled all over Chicago including Marina City when they opened. Do you have any pictures of the Alba Bowling alley or have any recollections or it.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I don’t remember Alba Bowling Lanes. The only thing I remember on the 4800-north block of Kedzie is the original Bagel Restaurant.

  64. Vito Says:

    I worked at Alba Bowl while attending Roosevelt High School. The owners were Herman & Abe Drucker. I recall 2 counter ladies – Dorothy and Eunice. The resident AMF mechanic (who trained me) was Arthur O. Vetter… who was in his 70s Across the east-west alley upon which it bordered was the original Bagel Restaurant which had about 8-10 counter stools and 2 small narrow tables opposite the counter. Across the street on the east side of Kedzie was the Hollywood Skating Ring. I also worked at Rolaway on Pulaski (building gone), Drake Bowl on Montrose (building gone), Leland Bowling & Billiards on Kedzie (building gone), Lawrence-Western Lanes (building gone).

  65. Ms Harvey Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am trying VERY HARD to find out if there was a bowling alley in Rogers Park at Howard & Clark or anywhere in Evanston sometime around 1935-1940’s? I am working on a school project/missing piece to a family puzzle. Thanks in advance to everyone.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The original Howard Recreation had bowling alleys, and was listed at 7629 N Paulina St in 1938. Later, starting in the 1950s, there was Howard Bowl, 1777 W Howard St. There’s a 1975 picture of this one under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.

  66. Nikki Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake – we love your blog over here at the International Art of Bowling. Is there an email where we could contact you about possibly using (of course we would credit your blog) some of your images?

  67. Duane Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake, thanks for putting all this great information together. I’m looking for any and all information on Gerry Anderson of Moline, IL. Married into the family and have heard countless stories about how great he really was. I’ve found 1 picture on your site from an All-Star in the 40’s just curious if you have any other resources for information or any other places to look. Thanks.

  68. Thomas Scherrer Says:

    Dr. Jake,

    I want to thank you for having the standings to the BPAA All-Star prior to the name change to the US Open. I have been attempting to find these scores for a project I am doing on my blog determining who is the greatest All-Star/US Open bowler in history. There are a few things I wanted to know about before moving ahead. If you have the time, send me a reply to my email and I’ll be happy to share what I am looking for. Many thanks!

  69. Danny Gardner Says:

    Dr. Jake –

    I’m an author and screenwriter from Chicago living and working in Los Angeles and I’m currently finishing my first novel. I’ve always found historical accuracy to be neglected in Hollywood depictions of Chitown, thus I’m compelled to always do my city justice. In my story, a climax takes place in a south side bowling alley in 1952. I knew it would have to be one that was bustling and also amenable to black Chicagoans of that era playing and working in its confines. As you can imagine, getting that right would be a task.

    Then Google brought me to your blog and I find a treasure trove of well organized historical data on all things bowling in Chicago. I can’t thank you enough. Bowling was a part of my upbringing in Chicago and I still get out and roll at least monthly. Not only did your work take me waaaaaay back, but it’s value to my writing is tremendous.

    With gratitude,

    Danny Gardner

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks for the kind words–I’m glad my work could help you. I assume the bowling alley you picked was Ritz Bowl at 4320 S. Indiana Ave, in the same neighborhood as the original Checkerboard Lounge. I have a yellow-page listing from about 1958 that says Ritz is air-conditioned and open 24 hours; I don’t know if it was there in 1952.
      BTW, for more on Chicago History in general, check out my WBEZ blog:http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-history

  70. Ralph Says:

    Does anyone know when clark wilson rec 4533 n clark st, Chicago closed?


  71. Ron Dompke - Chicago Says:

    hello Jake – just went through your massive history of Chicago bowling – fantastic. Dan Marazzo on12/10/12 asked about Northwest Bowl on Milwaukee – one of the guys I bowl with said he and another friend went up there about 5 months ago and said everything is there but would need a ton of work and money to bring it back – only problem in that neighborhood is no parking. will come back often now that I know where you are at – I printed out a number of pictures of old timers I bowled against or with back in the early 60’s – will pass them on to interested – now old time bowlers-thanks for all of your work putting this together

    • rtree Says:

      Hi Ron,
      I’m co-authoring a book about Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood for Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. The book includes a short section on bowling alleys, and I’d love to see your photos of Northwest Bowl if you’re willing to share them. The only other photos I’ve come across so far are the two I posted below Dan’s comment.


  72. Ron Dompke - Chicago Says:

    you asked for a confirmation – would like to do it but your site won’t accept my effort – I am using IE10 – could that create a problem

  73. Riki Lee Says:

    Hi : I’m trying to find Any photo’s of ? or Anything? for “G&L ” Bowling Alley, that was on the West side of Chicago, was located at Chicago Ave. & Pulaski , Please get back to me,
    Thank You

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’m sorry. I bowled at G&L a few times in high school, but never took any pictures. Maybe someone else will read this, and send some.

  74. Neal Bader Says:

    I left this in another spot here as I am new to this:
    I am looking for information and photos of The North End Bowling Club 244 W Willow in Chicago. The building has been The Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls since 1950 but it is still the original 2 lane bowling alley structure built in 1891.
    Any photos would be appreciated.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I don’t have any pictures of the North End Bowling Club. Perhaps someone else who reads this will.

  75. Neal Bader Says:

    Thank you,

    Perhaps someone can help.


  76. Bill Whyte Says:

    Dr. Jake – I had to let you know that I was in Chicago on Sunday, Sept 22nd for a Cubbies game at Wrigley Field (dont ask who won!) and then afterwards met up with a friend of a friend at the Southport Lanes and Billiards at 3325 N Southport Ave. Don’t know if you are familiar with this place but they have 4 alleys of bowling WITH PINBOYS! To make it even better for this New Englander, we bowled candlepins! On request, they will set up the candlepins instead of the tenpins. This place is unbelievable as I felt like I was back in a timewarp to the 20’s and 30’s. Old bar… old billiards room… old bowling lanes… and a very comfortable neighborhood. Hope you are aware of this establisment and if not, hope you’re able to find the time to check it out! – Bill Whyte

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Bill– I know Southport Lanes very well. I bowled there many times in the 1970s, when any bowling alley with pinboys was considered an old dump, and not retro-chic. As for candlepins, Congress Arcade tried them for a few years on their top floor–they even had automatic candlepin setters they’d purchased from a defunct establishment in Massachusetts. I liked candlepins, but most Chicagoans obviously didn’t, so that particular experiment died.

  77. Dan Beemsterboer Says:

    Dr. Jake – I have a quick question. I am our local bowling historian (Dayton, Ohio). I am a huge fan of Tom Zavakos. I found an article where he won a local tournament (even though he was living in Richmond, Ind at the time). By winning this tournament he represented our area in the Chicago Tribune National Finals. They were to be bowled in late November 1947. My question to you, have you ever heard of this tournament and is there any chance that you may have seen any results for this year?

    I really enjoy your blog!!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Sorry for the tardy reply. I don’t have any specific information for you. The All-Star Tournament had a certain number of bowlers who were automatically seeded into the field in Chicago; others had to qualify at regional sites. When Dick Hoover won the All-Star in 1950-51 he was living in Akron. But before he got into the field, he had to bowl his qualifier in Cleveland. (In the TV commentary, Fred Wolf identifies Hoover as representing Cleveland.) This is probably what happened to Zavakos–even though he was living somewhere else, he had to qualify at a regional site like Dayton.

  78. Andrew Schneider Says:

    Hi Mr. Schmidt – you have a photo of Schueneman’s Billiards & Bowling – it’s in Logan Square in Chicago. We’re doing a photo exhibit of our neighborhood and would love a copy – can we discuss over email?

  79. Ken Kerik Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,
    We established a long overdue Hall of Fame last year in Fremont, Ohio and had Jeff and Kathy Lizzi as our guest speakers. We inducted 14 members last year in an effort to catch up.
    Do you do any guest speaking? We’d love to hear about the past times of bowling etc.

  80. Ralph Says:

    Happy New Year J.R.

    After seeing that you posted Irving Parks Lanes closed, that there are only around 13 bowling alleys left in Chicago. Not the suburbs, just Chicago. Is this true? I can think of only two bowling alleys north of Irving Park in Chicago, Habetler and Lincoln Square. Timber Lanes is on Irving Park but the south side of the street! LOL. What happen to bowling in this city? This sport has just about died in this town.

    I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year along with everyone else out there!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Ralph– Edison Park Bowl on the far NW Side is still open. (Some years ago, my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary there with a bowling party, followed up with catering from Superdawg.) Also in the city–but south of Irving Park–there’s Waveland, Diversey-River, Mont Clare, Fireside, Southport, UIC, Lawn, Skyway, Bluebird (Laredo), New Halsted (Cedar Park). You also have the various 10-Pin lounges at Marina City and elsewhere, which you may or may not count. Those are the only bowling alleys within the city limits that I can think of at the moment. So what happened to all the houses in the city? What’s happened in Chicago is what’s happened in other cities. My own thought is that the industry hasn’t effectively promoted competitive bowling for decades, so there are fewer young bowlers coming up who want to join leagues. And the few bowlers who do want to improve don’t have to spend money on practicing, when they can simply buy an arsenal of different balls. More money for the manufacturers and pro shops, but less open-play money for the proprietors.

  81. Bob Jewell Says:

    My uncle bowled in what they called the “Classic League” (?) in Chicago. I believe he used to bowl at the alleys that were on Broadway near Foster Avenue (it eventually became a Treasure Island food store). He also bowled in an alley that was on Devon ave, west of Western ave. This would have been in the 50’s 60’s time frame. His name was Hank Baskin. Maybe also known as Bill Churchill. Wondering if there was any info out there that may have referred to him in regards to bowling. I was told he was a very good bowler.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The bowling alley you’re talking about on Broadway had the most unoriginal name in Chicago–Bowling Lanes. The place on Devon was called Bud Schaibly Bowl during the 1970s.

      • Lori Scholtens Says:

        J.R. I have a photo of Bowling Lanes. My Grandfather, Ralph Olsen, was the proprietor. I would be happy to send this photo to you for you blog on old Bowling Alleys. Just let me know.

  82. Carol Beardsley Martin Says:

    Does anyone have info on d d Jacobson? Her full name was Doris dale Jacobson and she came from Barnsdall, ok. Her parents, Doris and Ed dale we’re close friends of my moms parents. They played bridge together. My mom,, Madeline route Beardsley, went to school with her, my mom was three years older. I never knew d d was a bowler till we visited mrs. Dale in Barnsdall before she died and I saw her picture on a shelf. Mrs. Dale had never said she was a bowler. I have bowled since 1962. And had heard of her but did not know my mom knew her. Does anyone know if she had children and where they live? I would like to get in touch with them. My mom died in 1998. Carol Ann Beardsley Martin p o box 264 Christine Tx 78012 . Thanks for the info.

  83. Carol Beardsley Martin Says:

    Leave me an e mail.

  84. Keith Cali Says:

    I used to bowl at an alley on west North Ave in Chicago in the mid sixties somewhere on the 2500 to 2700 block, north side of street. I believe it was called North Bowl. I see it on your list. Can you confirm?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      North Bowl was a second-floor place at 2606 West North Avenue, and was one of the houses I bowled in with the teenage traveling league in 1964-65. What I remember about North Bowl is that the owner kept a large dog right on the premises.

      • Frank Tardio Says:

        Northwest Traveling League bowled there
        on Sat nites. Also @ Karlov &Timber. Can’t remember the other 5 houses

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Frank– I have a 1963 copy of the Chicago Bowler that notes league action at Monte Cristo Bowl , Cragin Bowl, Northwest Bowl, and North Bowl. There might have been other houses in the league then, but they’re not mentioned.

  85. Mike Miller Says:

    I’ve got a question for you. My great aunt, Sylvia Fanta, was a good bowler (2nd in the All-Star in 1955 and bowled on the Falstaff team during that era), and my understanding is that she and my great uncle Laddie owned a bar with 4 lanes somewhere in Chicago at that time.

    Would you have any idea of the name and address of that house?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Does anyone have any information about this?

    • Ralph Says:

      There is a picture of her on the bowling team posted here.

      • Mike Miller Says:

        Yes, I had seen the team picture, that’s why I posted the question. Thanks. I dug out a little more info from my mother about this, so I need to correct one item and add an address.

        The place I’m wondering about (they actually bought a different place further north later on) had only 3 lanes and was located near 26th and Tripp. Sounds like a drugstore may have been on the corner, with the bar and lanes next door. With only 3 lanes it was strictly a neighborhood place, and therefore obscure. This would have been during the 1940’s and probably into the 1950’s. Their serious bowling was done at Windy City.

      • Ralph Says:

        There was a bowling alley about six blocks east on 26th Street called Chicago Recreation, 3937 West 26th Street. It fits the description you gave (one door off the corner with a store front next to it on the corner) except that the building front looks bigger than a three lane house with a bar unless it was divided up back then or had pool tables in it. Sorry, I am not a south side person Mike. If I find anything I will post it and let you know.

  86. Bill Says:

    not sure if this is the answer but… Southpart Lanes in Chicago is a bar with 4 lanes and a billiards parlor… located on 3325 North Southport… still has pinboys… also will set up candlepins on request… definitely worth checking out…

  87. Ralph Says:

    I came across this while looking for a name of a small bowling alley at Clark Street and Bryn Mar for Mike, (above). It was at 5556 North Clark Street. The name was Hellgeth’s Tavern & Bowling Alley. The name Russ Robertson is associated with this place. I found this in The Saint Gregory Story. They were one of the contributors to the church in 1954.

    I also found that this place was named Faetz Bowling Alley at one time according to the Edgewater Historical Society.

    “The building at the southwest corner of Bryn Mawr and Clark (now the Salvation Army resale store) was Faetz Bowling Alley. Faetz later sold to Hellgeth and opened the Faetz Niesen Bowling Lanes on Ridge west of Clark, which was the site of the first televised bowling competition.”

    This article was from 1994. The building is still there but it has been divided up into smaller business along Bryn Mar Ave. around 1988.

    I don’t know how many lanes were there. I always thought it was four lanes or six. Mike, does these names and places mean anything to you?

    I at least now know the name of this bowling alley. I have been wondering about this for some time.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      In 1917 Bowlers Journal carried ads for Faetz’s Alleys at 5556 North Clark Street; the ad says “six new alleys.” When the ABC Tournament came to Chicago in 1938, the BPA-GC ad identifies Faetz as the proprietor of Bryn Mawr Recreation, presumably the same place. Faetz moved to Ridge Avenue in 1939, taking over an abandoned dry-cleaning plant. The alleys he installed there came from the 1939 ABC Tournament.

  88. Frank Tardio Says:

    Hi J.R.- I just recently became aware of your blog. I applaud you and thank you. I started reading posts at the beginning (Oct 2009) and came across a post from Jerry Lippe (May 2012) requesting information about his father, Harry. I bowled the ABC tournament with him in Dayton (1975) and Oklahoma City (1976), and have our team photos. How would I go about getting copies to him/you?

  89. Bob Smith Says:

    i’m desperate to find a picture inside or out of a 16 lane house on Irving Park Road in Norridge down the street from Rolling Stone record store. Can’t remember the name. May have been Norridge lanes?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      It has to be Norridge Lanes. And I never bothered to take a picture, even though I bowled there a few times–I guess I thought the place would always be around. Can anyone else help?

    • Ralph Says:

      Check with the Norridge Historical Society. Maybe they would have pictures.

  90. Skip Justice Says:

    No pictures of Norridge Lanes. But i do have a copy of the Norridge Singles prize list from 1974, Great names on this list.

  91. Larry B Says:

    Hi J.R.

    I just got done reading you article on the 5-7-10 split. I too have left it a few times, but that was probably 40 or more years ago. You mentioned having left it at the Bowlium in 1964. I bowled in leagues at the Bowlium from 1954 (Bantam) until the early 1970’s. I was even lucky enough to keep score when the Pro Tour came to the Bowlium in either 1962 or 1963. I got to meet many of the great bowlers of the era — Dick Weber, Carmen Salvino, Buddy Bomar, to name a few. I have a lot of great memories of the Bowlium. Thanks for bringing them back.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You’re welcome. There are also a few exterior shots of The Bowlium in the archive. Check on “OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS” and scroll.

  92. leigh Says:

    what is the name of bowling alley on stony island ave. on the second floor,which burned down in the sixties ?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Crest Recreation was at 6722 South Stony Island Avenue, but I don’t know if this is the place you mean.

  93. Scott Handley Says:

    Dr Jake I’m researching bowling in the Greater Seattle area, and I’ve been reading scrapbooks compiled by the former women’s association. These date back to the 1920s. i’ve seen multiple references in the newspaper stories and headlines that use “drives” as a synonym for lanes or alleys. I’ve even seen drives used on King County (Greater Seattle) tax records. Do you know any of the history of this? Everone I’ve asked has no idea. I’ve posted on a couple of other bowling blogs and gotten no responses at all. Drives?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’ve seen the term “drive” used in the The Bowler’s Journal (New York) as early as 1899. This word seems to have been used interchangeably with “alley,” though the latter term was always more popular. During the 1940s, when proprietors wanted to give the game some class, they began substituting “lane.” So we have drive, or alley, or lane. All three words originally referred to the same thing–minor urban thoroughfares. Evidently, that’s what early bowlers thought their 60’x42″ playing surface looked like.

  94. Scott Handley Says:

    Dr Jake Thanks, I very much appreciate your reply. Scott

  95. Jay C. Levine Says:

    I have some old team pictures that I would like to know about their history and the names of the bowlers.

  96. Joe Says:

    Hello…..looking for the name of a bowling alley on Third Avenue in the 80th-90th street area of Manhattan in NYC pre 1970. It was closed around that time. Thank you for any assistance. Be well. Joe

  97. Mandie McCarthy Says:

    Hello, I am hoping to find some old pics of a particular bowler (my uncle) who was active from 1960’s thru 1990s.. The bowler’s name is Fred Hansen. My uncle was a big guy, and I remember wondering why newspaper cutouts would refer to him as rotund.. Anyways, quite a few of his photos were destroyed in a basement flood at my parent’s house, and I thought to turn to the internet and see if anyone has any pics of him in an old scrapbook! I would really love to have copies- even scanned images would be appreciated! Thank you so much for any assistance you might be able to offer!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I bowled against Freddie in the North End, but I don’t know if I have any pictures of him. Perhaps someone else does.

  98. Mandie McCarthy Says:

    Thanks so much for the response! I figure that a site like this is exactly where I need to ask! 🙂

  99. Kathy Jensen Says:

    In 1967 or 1968 I remember as a kid walking several times past a burnt down bowling alley. The lot was almost leveled but you could still see lanes and even some burnt pins. It smelled strongly of waterlogged charcoalI think it was on the NE corner of Devon and Bell Ave. I haven’t located any info about it.

  100. Ralph Says:

    I read this in a New York paper. Didn’t the PBA tour play here back in the 1980’s?

    Bowlmor Lanes, city’s oldest bowling alley, closes after 76-year run in Union Square. The beloved bowling center, opened during bowling’s golden age, closed Monday night. Now it will reportedly become luxury condos.

  101. Ethan Galvin Says:

    What happened to Johnny King? Wy did his career just fade away in the 60’s? Does anyone have a brief bio or know where he’s buried?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I wrote an article on Johnny King in the May 2011 issue of Bowlers Journal. At the time, I didn’t know what had happened to him, and neither did anyone else I contacted. I later found out that he had died in Boca Raton (Florida) on 12 March 1998. The info came from the Social Security Death Index, where he’s listed under his formal name–Howard P. King.

  102. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Who won the most bowling matches between Johnny King and Eddie Lubanski?

  103. Tom Ferber Says:

    Anybody remeber Ravenswood Lanes on the north side of Lawrence Avenue near Damen on the second floor? It was one of the stops for the North End Traveling and had pinboys well well into the 1960’s! Many Saturday nights were spent there with a couple of friends. We used to get “a pair” and roll 10-15 games each using tournament style rotation. what about tipping the pinboys?? Did anyone else ever “put a fiver” rolled up in the thumbhole of their ball after our competition to show out spotter whow much we appreciated his hard work?

  104. Larry Says:

    Hi J.R.

    I just purchase about 30 different Chicago Bowling Alley matchbook covers – 1940’s/1950’s (also about 10 Chicago Suburban ones). If you’re interested, I could scan them and send them to you.

    • Neal Bader Says:


      Not sure if this will get to you or not.

      I am the executive Director of The Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls in Old Town.

      Our Clubhouse at 244 W Willow was originally The North End Bowling Club built in 1891 as a 2 lane Bowling alley operating until 1950. The photo I attached is from The Chicago History Museum form 1950.

      The building looks exactly the same outside now and today we ripped up the old carpet to install laminate floor and you can see some vestige of the original lanes. Photo attached.

      We have no interior photos and do not know of any.

      After some research I think perhaps it is the oldest or close to the oldest free standing built originally for bowling structure in the USA?

      Neal Bader

      Executive Director

      The Menomonee Club

      312-664-4631 ext 106

  105. Ron K Says:

    Hi J.R. Do you or anyone have any information on Lincoln Lanes? I believe that is the correct name, but could be wrong. It was where I first learnd to bowl in the late 1940’s. They were located on the second floor on the Northwest corner of Roscoe and Lincoln in Chicago of course.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Sorry, but the only thing I have on Lincoln Lanes is a 1958 phone book listing–3410 N. Lincoln Ave, WEllington 5-5530. There’s been a vacant lot on that corner from some time now.

  106. Tom Ferber Says:

    Do you maybe mean Lincoln Square Lanes? That was also on Lincoln but as I recall, closer to Western Ave. It also was a second floor house.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Lincoln Square is still in business at 4874 N. Lincoln Ave. I believe that it was recently renovated by new owners.

      • Tom and June Ferber Says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I moved out of the Chicago area 4 years ago (to Arizona) and have been away from “the north side” for over 40 years having moved to the ‘burbs after high school. (Lane Tech class of ’59), but I remember it being there. Back in the late 50’s I used to bowl at Lawrence-Western Bowl. Is it still there?

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Lawrence-Western is long gone. There’s a picture of it–along with many other defunct houses–in the OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS category.

  107. Ron K Says:

    Tom, I am not confusing Lincoln Square Lanes with Lincoln Lanes as I bowled at both of them and also at L/W. I believe we are the same age as I graduated from Amundsen in ’59 and it is possible we were bowling at LS or LW at the same time, I believe the manager’s name at LW was Bill something and I seem to recall a kid with the last name of Renolyds who had red hair who thought he was a very good bowler. There have been many old Bowling Alleys mentioned on this site, but Lincoln Lanes seems to be lost to history.

    • Skip Justice Says:

      Lincoln Lanes 3410 n Lincoln.

    • Tom Ferber Says:

      Hi Ron. I just threw out Lincoln Square as it happened to be one that I was familiar with though I never bowled there. I remember Bill the manager at L/W well. He was good to us as he liked kids and seeing them bowl. As to L/W . . that was Bob Reynolds. It was always nice to let think he was good . . but even better to beat his team. If you bowled in that league, do you remember Jimmy Lindskog? He was a skinny blonde left hander that must have had some great potential when he got a bit older. It does seem we are about the same age. This is one of the times I wish I was still in the midwest so we could talk. Thanks for reminding me of some of those long buried in my mind good times

      • Loren Argall Says:

        You might be interested in this. The TV show Restaurant Impossible remade an 85 year old bowling alley/restaurant in Patterson, New Jersey on tonight’s episode. It was called Paul’s Bar Bowling.

        Loren Argall Huntley, Illinois

        Sent from my iPhone.


  108. Ron K Says:

    Tom, I don’t remember Jimmy and I agree Bill was a great guy to us kids. Did my league bowling at Bowling Lanes (Foster and Broadway). LOL, I’m not in the Midwest either as we moved to SW Floradia in the “90s and still bowl in three leagues here. What did you do for a living and where exactly did you live? I lived near Lincoln and Addison till we moved in ’54 to the Lincoln-California area and that’s when I started to bowl at L/W and L/SQ.

  109. Ron K Says:

    Skip, All anyone seems to know about Lincoln Lanes is the address.

  110. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Regarding championship bowling, who won the most Johnny King or Eddie Lubanski?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I have no idea about those results on the syndicated “Championship Bowling” show. Of course, on the two series out of Faetz-Niesen–the local Chicago “Championship Bowling” and the syndicated “Bowling Stars”–King beat just about anyone.

  111. Sarah Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,
    I wanted to let you know I used a picture of yours in one of my Etsy listings. I did give you credit at the end of the description.

  112. Ben Ricks Says:

    Does the “Historical Dictionary of Bowling” including PBA scoring averages of bowlers by season?

  113. George Lewis Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake: I’m not sure if you’ve ever run across this website (Holiday Bowl History Project) or not, but either way, I think it’s well worth your reader’s time (yours as well if you’ve never seen it) to take a look. Holiday Bowl was just west of USC and the Los Angeles Coliseum. http://www.holidaybowlcrenshaw.com/

  114. RayRay Says:

    I was in several ABC Tournaments throughout the years. in particular, im interested in the OK City 1976 tourn. I was as high as 6th in the singles with not long to go. I lost the prize lists and patches I bought there and want to find out where I finished in the singles. I remember 15th nut not sure.
    any help is apprecoated.


  115. Mike Jones Says:

    Dear Mr. Schmidt: Can you please tell me if you know – which bowling center within the city limits of Chicago was the first to have a complete installation of automatic pinsetters?

    Thank you! Love your blog!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      That’s a good question. I’ve heard that the first Chicago automatics were installed at Rolaway Recreation (4840 N Pulaski Rd), but I can’t vouch for that. I’ll have to do further research.

  116. Mike Jones Says:

    Thank you Mr. Schmidt! I appreciate the response. Through your blog I have become very interested in the history of bowling in the Chicago area.

  117. R. Wilbanks Says:

    Dear Dr. Schmidt: First off, I want to say that I absolutely love this blog to no end. It’s a great historical resource for those of us who loved the great sport of bowling, and it’s cultural impact across the USA.

    I was wondering if there was an establishment called “Tower Lanes” in the Chicago area? I know they were an AMF establishment, and may have been on Tower Road in the 1960s. Any information that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks for the writing. I don’t have a record of a Tower Lanes. Perhaps you’re thinking of Evergreen Towers Bowl, which operated at 2535 West 95th Street in Evergreen Park from the 1940s until the late 1990s or so. I posted an artist’s rendering of the exterior under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.

    • Ralph Says:

      Could it have been “Timber Lanes” on Irving Park Road that you were thinking of? They were an eight lane, AMF house.

      • R. Wilbanks Says:

        No. I have a photograph of the roadway sign in front of the establishment, and the sign clearly says “Tower Lanes.” It’s circa 1958-1959, and was shot at night.

  118. Michael olmos Says:

    Jake…am interested in finding more on grand central bowl on glendale.cal..orany videos from that c enter also they had some big time pot games which i kept score for as a teenager and lastly they had 10 game marathon tournaments in which my dad was a finalist and they filmed it and shown on t.v i was hoping you can get some footage from it thank you..

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I don’t have anything on Grand Central bowl, but maybe someone who reads this will.

  119. George Lewis Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake and Michael Olmos:

    Here is some information on the development of Grand Central. It was located near the boundary between Burbank and Glendale. If I recall correctly, there were 64 lanes, 32 to each side. The exterior stood in as the site for Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant in Pulp Fiction.

    Bowling central in Glendale
    By Katherine Yamada | August 23, 2011
    Glendale’s Grand Central Airport closed down in the 1950s, and eventually the property was developed as a business park called the Grand Central Industrial Center. One of the new buildings was Grand Central Bowl, a $1-million project at the corner of Sonora Avenue and Flower Street. The bowling alley, designed by William Rudolph of Pasadena, was developed in mid-1959 by Sports Arenas Inc., according to the Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1959. It included a restaurant and cocktail lounge, coffee shop and children’s playroom.

    I learned how to bowl, and later worked at, Pickwick Bowl in Burbank which was not too far away. I don’t recall any filming of tournaments at Grand Central, but given it’s location and size, I would not be surprised if there were some footage someplace.

    Good luck Michael. From my end, I’ll see what I can track down.

  120. John Shack Says:

    A few memories here. Saw Don Carter and his Budweiser team at Gateway early 60s.
    Bowled in NW Traveling League in the ‘ 60s.
    Sportsmans, Evergreen , Karlov, Monte Cristo lanes. Forgot a few.
    Started as pinsetter 1950, 10 years old at Axel Anderson ‘s 4 lane establishment (Cortland and Kedzie).
    Game was great back then. Can ‘t say that about today’s rollers.
    Germantown TN

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I think Northwest Bowl (on Milwaukee Avenue) was also in the NW Traveling League. While I never bowled in that league, I did win enough money in a tournament there one year to buy my fiancée an engagement ring.

  121. boom boom Says:

    love this site,having grown up on south side and from bowling family..use to cut my friday afternoon classes and jus pick a road and bowl a few games at 3-or 4 centers with a good friend of mine..i have a list a mile long of places we bowled at…my grandfather worked and bowled at beverly bowl and also worked at bomars pro shop…i remember some of the big places like miami bowl…gage park…holiday bowl…..and some small centers like cicero bowl…berwyn rec….palace bowl….grand prix lanes…national bowling lanes..euclid bowl..el mar…i have quite a list that i will share in future…..what a great time in chicago bowling history

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Boom Boom–
      Thanks for writing. If you haven’t already done so, check out the pictures under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.

      • boom boom Says:

        remember some of the centers on north avenue like town &country and riviera and the Super Bowl

  122. Frank Tardio Says:

    NW Traveling on Sat nites- also Maple Lanes and North Bowl

  123. boom boom Says:

    greater chicago traveling league also on sat nites…north center bowl..manor bowl..argo bowl..palace manor…lawn lanes..remember bob mills and dutch hoffman were big guns in a league that bowled in some pretty tough houses

  124. Tom Ferber Says:

    NW Traveling League also bowled at Ravenswood Lanes, East of Damen on Lawrence, N side of the street 2nd Floor.

  125. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Who had a better bowling record against each other: Ed Lubanski or Johnny King?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      All around, Lubanski was definitely the better bowler. I don’t know if there’s any record of how they did head-to-head.

  126. tim brayman Says:

    Mr. Schmidt (Dr Jake)
    Tim Brayman here again. Yesterday my wife and I were at an antique mall in the Toledo area. I found an awesome magazine called simply “Bowling Magazine” (covering ABC bowling from 1962) and was dated June 1962. It covered both the NBL (season’s final match) and the 1962 ABC Classics (an article discussing the ’62 results and even mentioning my dad’s performance in ’61) as well as final results of the tournament. My question: Would you have any idea where (or whom) would have past issues of this magazine? I would love to purchase a copy from 1961 and cannot find any information on this magazine.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Bowling Magazine was published by ABC. I know that USBC cleared out most of their old files when they moved out of Milwaukee, but perhaps they still have some spare issues. I’d contact the USBC public relations person at Bowling Headquarters in Texas.

  127. Skip Justice Says:

    Jake: I don’t have the Magazine. But i do have a copy of the 1961 Abc prize list. Bob Brayman won the classic all-events with 1963. It
    lists the top 75 bowlers in each division. I would be glad to send a copy if it would help. Let Me know. Skip Justice.

  128. Brian Ehrle (303-503-5584) Says:

    Hi – My name is Brian Ehrle(ehrle@msn.com) and my father is Henry Ehrle(Hank). I’ve been reviewing with interest your records and recognize many of the bowlers. I grew up in Detroit. My dad had his own bowling show on the radio during the 30’s. He was the Sec-Treas of the Detroit Times All-Star Classic from the 30’s thru the early 50’s. He actually kept the Classic going during the War and my mother typed up all the scores every week including carbons for years. Dad held the franchise for the Coca Cola team all during his tenure. My dad turned in bowling stories to the papers and in those days the Detroit papers were full of bowling news. Dad would take one of us 3 boys to ABC Tournaments and I got to go with the team to Los Angeles in 1947. Phil Bauman, former Strohs bowler was our 6th man and drove with us. Coke rolled onto 9th place in the ABC.
    Some of the team’s members were Steve Crucheon, Al Pasket, and Henry Gavie. I stopped bowling when we moved to Evergreen, CO west of Denver 40 years ago but they finally opened an alley recently

  129. Ralph Says:

    On this day,
    1/7/1964 – Dick Weber rolls highest bowling game in air (Boeing 707) A promotion had him bowling the highest (altitude) game ever in “Operation AstroBowl,” which took place on a Boeing 707. This was a joint campaign for American Airlines’ Cargo Service. The aircraft used was an all-cargo Boeing 707 with a single AMF lane installed in the main cargo hold.

  130. Pat McGrath Says:

    Hello. I stumbled upon your blog and WOW am I fascinated by it. I grew up in St.Louis one of the best bowling cities ever. I used to love watching my dad bowl in his weekly A-B league. Afterword we would get ice cream. We would never miss the Saturday telecast of the PBA tour on ABC. I never knew that Stein Bros bowl had the first carpeted concourse. I used to walk there after school and bowl. Such great history. Keep up the good work and hopefully someday I’ll come up to Chicago and check out an old alley.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks for your note. I’m glad you like the blog. The idea of a carpeted concourse was to make sure bowlers wouldn’t track water onto the approaches. Even if he hadn’t been a great bowler, that idea alone would have been enough to get Otto Stein into the Hall of Fame. Stein Brothers was also the place where Ray Bluth got his start, as a teenage pinboy.

  131. Christine Says:

    Hi there! I received a pin (inherited) from my Uncle. It is a brass or gold tone metal about 1 7/16″ of an inch. It is a pin or badge that reads:
    39th Annual
    Cleveland Ohio

    I want to gift this to my son who is an avid bowler. Can you tell me anything about this?
    Any information would be greatly appreciated!
    Sincerely yours,

  132. Gloria Lang Says:

    Good Morning. Tell me alittle more about your site and blog. How many followers do you have?

    My father past away 2 yrs agi from Alzheimers. The one thing he never lost the passion of bowling. Deemed professional and a competitive bowler after the War. He also started young. Bowled in High School for South Shore in 1942. I have many articles, clippings and Photos if early Leagues. He bowled in many tounaments and taught us all how to bowl even his great grandchildren.
    I found your site because I was searching information on a league picture, early 1950 or late 1940, that both my father and Grand father was in. The Cheltenham Jr. majir League. I also have many of his patches.

  133. Gene Christianson Says:

    Just found this in the Trib:


  134. Frank Schmitt Says:

    Regarding old Championship Bowling shows—they are now on DVD & are available to buy at $10 apiece. Not all matches are available though. Contact the Bowling Hall of Fame in Dallas & ask for Jessica Bell. My friend & I have ordered all that they have & the shipment is on its way here to Brooklyn. Most of what’s available are the later matches but they do have some earlier ones (no, not the Ace Calder match). Good luck if you want to check this out.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Thanks, Frank. I’ve run across many bootleg “Championship Bowling” videos over the years–both VHS and DVD–so I’m glad that the Museum is finally selling copies from their own stash. The picture quality has got to be better.

  135. Frank Schmitt Says:

    There’s a guy who calls himself “irishpogi” who has put up around 20 matches on YouTube & he also lives in the NYC area. Once we get what we’ve ordered, we’re going to see if he wants to borrow them for posting also. The HOF has supposedly upgraded the picture quality but we will see.

  136. Frank Schmitt Says:

    We’ve received the discs & they are quite good quality. There are some glitches (one match starts & ends before the bowlers come on camera, they sent us an Audsley-Ladewig match from Top Star Bowling for some unknown reason & a couple of other things). And they put 2 matches on some discs & one match on the rest but all in all, they look very good. We’re hoping they’ll come up with more stuff that we can purchase in the near future. And BTW, there’s now another guy calling himself “The Metro Bowler” who has posted 5 matches on YouTube as well but he’s posted more Top Star Bowling & I never saw that show in NYC. Comparing the two, Championship Bowling was a higher quality production even if the former did have the great Jack Buck at the mike. Fred Wolf was no slouch either.

  137. Larry Reed Says:

    Sellers on eBay who have Brunswick Gold Crowns listed almost all say the ball contains 9 karat gold. (Where did they get 9 karats?) I know this isn’t true, but if I send a seller a message about it, they refuse to listen to me. Would you please state for the record, maybe even in Bowlers Journal if possible, that the Gold Crown has zero gold content? -Thanks!!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You’re better off getting Brunswick to make a statement. That would have more clout.

  138. Ralph Says:

    I just saw a new channel here in Chicago called Decades, free air channel 2.2 that shows that Celebrity Bowling (1971-78) is one of the feature programs of this network. I have no clue if or when it will air. I saw this channel also on Comcast 338.

  139. Ken Blackburn Says:

    I was wondering when Brunswick made the Mineralite bowling ball? I have a two holed ball and I was wondering if you could tell the age of the ball based on the serial number on it?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Brunswick manufactured the Mineralite ball from about 1914 thru the mid-1950s, when the Black Beauty replaced it You’ll have to contact the company about the serial numbers.

  140. Ken Blackburn Says:

    I wasn’t sure if that was possible to contact them or not.

  141. Ken Blackburn Says:

    That’s true. I wasn’t sure how cooperative they would be but I will give it a try. Thanks

  142. Ken Blackburn Says:

    Do you know when bowlers switched from a two holed ball to using three holes in the bowling ball?

  143. kenb60 Says:

    Hi Jake,
    I am putting together a bowling museum on display at my friends bowling alley. I have some questions about old bowling balls and pins that maybe you could help me with later. But first I would like to know if it would be ok to download some of your pictures in your blog to use on my display? Do I have your permission to copy them? Thank you

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You may certainly use any of the old bowling alley pictures that I took. All the rest of the pictures on my site should be public domain, so I don’t think there will be a problem using them on your display.

  144. kenb60 Says:

    Thank you

  145. kenb60 Says:

    I recently purchased a small booklet where a bowler would record his scores in. I think it’s dated 1935. And one of the entries is for a Hoinke tournament. It shows an 874 series . I contacted the seller and she said she got it in an estate sale in Chicago. I was wondering if I sent you pictures of it, could you help me to find out more about this?

  146. Kevin L. Says:

    I have a Pfeiffer bowling shirt from my grandpa, Eddie LaPointe. Curious if you have any photos of him. Thanks

  147. Jim Lapinski Says:

    Hello J.R.

    This is Jim from Fireside Bowl. I own Fireside, my family has been here for 50 years. How come no picture of Fireside Bowl? If you want to talk about the bowling alley or my thoughts on bowling let me know. Between my mechanic and myself, we are about the only ones left who remember a lot of the old bowling alleys. Let me know, thanks, Jim

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Check out the current (May 2015) issue of Bowlers Journal. I wrote a feature article detailing 27 current bowling stops in Chicagoland. On page 36, there’s a paragraph about Fireside, as well as a recent picture. I did fill in once for the WBEZ team a couple of years ago, and my low scores that night were my own fault–because I love Fireside and all the other traditional houses. As for this website, I first ran thru all the pictures I took of defunct Chicago bowling alleys, and only recently have been posting pictures of places that are still in business. I have a nice 1976 shot of the Fireside exterior, which I’ll be posting sometime in the future.

      • Jim Says:

        Cool anytime you want to talk about old bowling alleys or have questions I might be able to answer don’t hesitate. My mechanic Art Preuss bowled in the north end traveling league for years and worked at just about all the AMF 82-30 houses in Chicago. Great site you have created. Thanks, Jim

  148. Scott Handley Says:

    Dr. Jake I found a couple of photos and a caption from the May 8, 1964, edition of The Seattle P-I that showed the pro-shop manager at Rainier Lanes in Seattle fitting a drilling a ball for a customer. The last line of the caption said, “Old timers can remember when custom-fitted balls had to be sent back East to be drilled.” Could that last sentence be true? If so, any estimates as to when this was? Thanks.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      I’ve never heard the story about Seattle ball-drillers sending the balls East for drilling. However, I’ll offer some speculation–

      Finger holes date from the early 1900s, and the drilling then wasn’t too precise. (The 1902 Sears catalogue sells bowling balls, and says something like, “If finger holes are desired, mention how many you desire and how big they should be.”) During the 1930s, specialized drilling patterns–with specified pitches and offsets–were developed. Some of these were the Bates Grip, the Ned Day Grip, and the Sarge Easter grip. They were supposed to be more comfortable to use, and better for putting more lift and turn into your delivery. While most drillers could probably drill a conventional grip in those days, those drillers might have needed to send the balls out for the exotic drillings. I know that purchasers had to pay a premium price for the Ned Day grip, so maybe that type of drilling was beyond the talent of Seattle ball-drillers, and part of the mark-up represented shipping charges.

      Too bad Joe Norris is gone. He’d probably have the right answer–or could make up a story that sounded right!


  149. Scott Handley Says:

    Thanks, Dr. Jake.

  150. Jim Burgmaier Says:

    I am a former Toledoian and would like to know if you recall a bar in Toledo which had 4 Bowling lanes.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I from Chicago, so I don’t remember such a place. But perhaps someone who reads your comment will.

      • Vito Caputo Says:

        Chicago had a 4-lane bar called Alley Recreation. It was on the east side of Kedzie just south of Irving Park. I set pins there while in high school. The equipment was TOTALLY manually operated. Tips came in the thumb holes.

  151. Ralph Says:

    I see that they closed Hoffman Lanes in Elk Grove village this last week. They were boarding it up on Thursday.

  152. Jim King Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake. I think my story is about Monte Cristo Bowl, located on the 2nd floor of a now Wholesale business on Montrose Ave. After the passing of my father in 2004, we decided to visit Chicago and toured around town looking up my fathers old haunts. Stopping by the address given by him, we entered the store and inquired as to the possibility of a bowling alley having been upstairs; the employees confirmed that it had still been in operation up until about 2001, 2003 or there abouts. I told them my story and asked if we might go upstairs to see the old bowl. The 2nd floor was being used to store their overstock, the pin setter machines had been removed but the lanes were still intact. (I had to have my wife take a picture of me in a bowling pose for old time sake.) According to my father, he became an owner when he came home from WWII around 1946. As the war was coming to a close, my father heard that the Russian soldiers were going to finally have a big payday, so he went around buying up watches from the other GI’s to sell to the Russians and sent home about $10,000, what a markup. He told his mother that she could use some of the money if necessary, but his oldest brother saw an opportunity and bought the lanes. When my father returned home from the war, he had an instant job upon his arrival, he setting pins, fixing the machines, etc., while my mother worked behind the counter. I was born in early 1947 and they would leave me in a playpen while they worked, the regular bowlers would keep me entertained. They sold the business around 49, 50, when we moved out to California.

  153. Jim lapinski Says:

    Still open

  154. Steven Norquist Says:

    Thank you for this vital blog that connects us to the rich history of bowling and the great men and women who made it one of the most popular and prestigious sports in the past.

    It is sad that today that glory has been lost…

    Thank you again.

    My favorites were Ned Day and Billy Hardwick.

  155. Ethan Says:

    Where is Johnny King buried and did he have any family?

  156. Jim Dulleck Says:

    J.R., Did you ever hear of the Rose Bowl on about 115th & Michigan in Roseland, Chicago. You used to enter on Michigan, then go down a couple of flights of stairs below street level to get to the alleys. Pretty interesting place. I believe its been gone for some time. Thanks. Love you column. Jim Dulleck

  157. neal bader Says:

    How do I send you a photo of The North End Bowling Club at 244 W Willow?

  158. Dan Beemsterboer Says:

    Do you have any information regarding the old ABC Tournament medals given out to the participants. I have been collecting these for some time and have some from 1904 through 1947. I am trying to determine if these were given out to all of the participants and what years they started and what years they stopped. Since the first tournament was in Chicago I thought maybe you would have some insight. I have tried checking on line with very little information.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I never heard of ABC giving out medals to tournament participants. It’s my understanding that the top prize winners got medals (instead of trophies) in the early days, so that they could wear the medals pinned to their slacks when they bowled. But I could be wrong.

  159. Danny Gardner Says:

    Dr. Jake – a while back, I turned to you and your blog for research for my novel, A Negro and an Ofay. I am happy to report presales begin next week and initial reviews are rather positive. I’ll be thanking you and your splendid resource in the acknowledgements section. Just let me know where I can forward a copy. Thanks for all you do.

    – Danny Gardner

    Website: dannygardner.me
    Goodreads: https://goo.gl/bwLJe3

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’m glad to have helped. Please send a copy to—J.R. Schmidt/408 S. Delphia Ave./Park Ridge, IL 60068.
      Best of luck with the sales! The title alone is intriguing, and I look forward to reading it.

  160. RG Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,

    Do you by chance have any more photos of Congress Arcade/ Mill Street Bowl? My grandparents met at that alley in the 1950’s and I’m trying to find some photos. I ask because my grandfather recently passed and I want to try and find some photos for my grandmother to remember it by. Please let me know. Thank you.

  161. Doug Wright Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake

    My early and late teenage years were spent at a bowling alley (1957-1964) in the Los Angeles area-South Gate. It was South Gate Bowl. Closed for many years now. My parents were friends of the owner and his family. His name was Norm Peterson. the Peterson family sold South Gate Bowl around 1958-1960. They moved to Reno, Nevada and bought a bowling alley. I now live in the Reno area and would love to know what bowling alley they bought? His Son Jim Peterson (he would be around 73 now) may still be in the area. I was wondering if there is any way to trace and learn about them and the bowling alley they bought in Reno?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’d contact the National Bowling Stadium, and see if they can put you in touch with a person who knows about old Reno bowling alleys. Or maybe somebody will read this and can answer your question—that’s happened before!

  162. George Webber Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake –

    My doubles partner and myself were fortunate to win the Bowler’s Journal doubles championship in Cincinatti Ohio in 1968. My magazines were destroyed in a flood in my basement many years ago and other than the championship trophy I have no other record.
    Do you have any ideas where a copy may still be available. I know it is stretch to believe any exist but I was just hoping.

    Further, I really enjoy reading about the old bowling centers. They bring back great memories of having bowled in many while a member of the North End traveling league.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You probably want the May or June issue of 1968. There are bound copies of the magazine at the Bowlers Journal office in Chicago and the Bowling Museum in Texas, but I don’t know who’d have a copy of a specific issue to sell—unless it comes up on ebay.

  163. Michael Rabich Says:

    Dr. Jake
    I enjoy your blog, you one of the few that care and research and preserve the history of the sport. What are your favorite books on the subject of bowling?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Grasso & Hartman, Historical Dictionary of Bowling, is expensive, but the best reference book. Also important is Weiskopf, The Perfect Game, an oversize, coffee-table book with a history of bowling to the late 1970s. Salvino & Klein, Fast Lanes, is Carmen’s autobiography, and a fun read. So is Eddie Lubanski’s story, told in Lubanski, Allen, & Reddy, King of the Pins! A great recent bowler biography is Manzione, Pin Action, the life and times of hustler-turned-PBA star Ernie Schlegel. Changes in the game have made most instruction books outdated, but I’ll recommend Day’s How to Bowl and How to Bowl Better simply for their historical importance and charm. Doug Schmidt’s They Came to Bowl covers Milwaukee bowling in fascinating detail. Finally, be sure to check out Fifty Greatest Players in PBA History. With plenty of pictures, the meat of the book is fifty articles on fifty great pros by various authors (including eight articles by me).

  164. BERTHO Christelle Says:

    Dear Jake, thank you for your precise work!

    I am wondering if you have any information about the introduction of modern bowling alleys in France?

    I am writing an architecture thesis on the Paris YMCA, UCJG rue de Trévise. I describe each rooms, and there happens to be a bowling alley down in the basement. So far I found out that two “bowling alleys” were introduced in Paris by the Paris YMCA (UCJG) when they built their own building (on the model of the american ones) in 1893. Do you happen to know who furnished it? Also, what do you know about bowling and YMCA?

    I read about a certain Charles Ridell who would have installed the two first alleys in Paris in 1907 (Bowlers Journal july 29th) but I can’t seem to confirm the source.

    Would the Paris YMCA be the first one then?

    Thank you for your time,

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      I don’t know much about bowling in France—though I did roll a game at the La Defense alleys outside Paris in 1979.

      I’d guess that the Paris YMCA alleys really were the first, since Brunswick made a point of sending its Mineralite bowling ball there on the 1914 world tour. Brunswick was the chief builder of bowling alleys in those days, so you should probably check the company’s archives about whether they built alleys in Paris, or whether this Charles Ridell worked for them.

      My bowling bibliography has only a small listing for France, and it doesn’t go back very far. Pluckhahn’s 1994 article is mostly about the traditional outdoor French games, but I recall that he did say a bit about tenpin bowling.

      Here’s the listing–

      Luby, Mort Jr. “An American in Paris.” Bowlers Journal, Nov 1982:68-71.
      __________. “Operating With a Gallic Flair.” Bowlers Journal, Jul 1968:14-17.
      __________. “A Touch of Class.” Bowlers Journal, Sep 1980:86-87.
      Pezzano, Chuck. “Grappling With Growing Pains.” Bowlers Journal, Oct 1971:23-24.
      Pluckhahn, Bruce. “Bowling’s #1 Pin Pal.” Bowlers Journal, Sep 1991:126-129.
      __________. “In France, It’s Viva la Difference!” Bowling Digest. Aug 1994:36-38.
      __________. “Zest For Everything.” Bowlers Journal, Sep 1990:126-131.
      Serbo, Art. “It’s Not Au Revoir.” Bowlers Journal, Sep 1989:130-134.

      Best of luck!

  165. Walt McIntosh Says:

    Dr. Jake, I’m Walt McIntosh and I’m finishing a 450 page glossary of bowling, Striking Words. My question is in reference to Cincinnati, then 8 – 10 split. Do you know how the city and the split became associated? Regards, Walt McIntosh, domesticengineer@comcast.net

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I can’t recall the source, but the explanation I remember is that the 8 and the 10 pins standing on the alley reminded people of the Roebling Suspension Bridge, as seen from the Ohio River.

  166. Dayna Winter Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake, My partner and I are shooting a documentary and we’re looking for an senior bowler (pro or active in leagues) with a good story who is ideally still alive and still bowling. We’re in pursuit of subjects with a vivid memory of bowling’s Golden Age. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. Thank you!
    Dayna & Reggie

    • Stacy charrette Says:

      Dayna, my fatherinlaw, Ken Charrette, was a well-known bowler in Detroit during the 50’s through the 90’s. He retired from the Michigan Majors Pro Bowling Association (which he founded) and is in the Michigan Hall of Fame. He is still active, helping to run tourneys still but is in his 80’s so doesn’t bowl much anymore. However, he is VERY passionate about bowling and loves to talk about the good ol days when pins used to weigh almost 4 pounds! I love listening to his stories. Email me if you are interested. Tramfan90@yahoo.com
      Stacy charrette

  167. Scott Handley Says:

    Dr. Jake I recently had the pleasure of visiting the bowling alleys located in The Salvation Army facilities in Seattle. A side benefit was taking pictures of bowling balls that I hadn’t seen in years. I started looking for information on the balls, but I couldn’t find anything specific, such as when they were introduced to the market. One of the balls was a Brunswick Starfire, which I remember very fondly because I used one for a long time. The balls included an AMF 3 Dot, Brunswick Automatic Scorer, a Manhattan Rubber with the big “MR” logo that preceded the oval logo, a Black Beauty, a Brunswick Fireball, a Bob Strampe Pro Line that appeared to be from Ebonite and a Grand Slam. Any suggestions on where I should look? I know the Manhattan is very old, because I had oval-logo Manhattans a long time ago. Thanks.

  168. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Who won the most matches in TV Championship Bowling:

    Johnny King vs Eddie Lubanski?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I compiled statistics on the first season (1954) of the syndicated “Championship Bowling” show in researching a BJI article. I’ve posted them on this website—neither King nor Lubanski appeared on that show. As far as I know, nobody has compiled statistics for the program’s later seasons. Lubanski was on more often, so he had more opportunities to win matches than King did. However, if you’re talking about the local Chicago version of “Championship Bowling,” King would probably have the better record on that show.

  169. brian carpenter sr. Says:

    I found a picture of myself at the Rochester ABC in 1966. How can I send it to you?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      My mailing address is— J.R. Schmidt/408 S. Delphia Ave./Park Ridge, IL 60068

      • brian carpenter sr. Says:

        I have it on my computer – can I e-mail it or post it to facebook for you?

  170. J.R. Schmidt Says:

    Sure—email it to docjake300@hotmail.com

  171. Stacy charrette Says:

    Dr Jake, do you have any information about my father-in-law, Ken Charrette, who was a big name in the bowling circles of Detroit in the 1950’s and 60’s. He also founded the Michigan Majors and is in the Michigan Bowling Hall of Fame. Any info would be appreciated!

  172. Hamilton Gardner Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,

    I own a historic estate property in upstate New York in one of the building there is a one lane bowling alley. Having done some research online I believe it to be the nation’s 2nd oldest surviving indoor bowling alley, with Roseland Cottage in Woodstock Conn. being the oldest. I would love to speak with about the property and the bowling alley.


  173. Daniel Sharp Says:

    I’m seeking photos, articles, advertisements from an old bowling alley from the 1960s in West Chicago. The Star Center also had a restaurant there I recall. My father worked there in the pro shop and also in the restaurant in some capacity. I was only 4 or 5 and remember driving with mom to pick up dad from work. Their changing room was in an attic-like area above the bowling alley as I remember how loud it was and all the exposed framing and insulation. I don’t remember how the place burned to the ground so I’d like to know some history on that subject also. The old Star Center sign stood like a monument for many years on the lot just east of the RR tracks on Route 38.
    I’m 55 now and as I think of this time as a child at age 4, it’s the age my memory starts. I remember nothing before that time. My sister is a year younger than I and would like to share with her and archived information and photos you may have.
    Hope to hear from you and Thankyou for your interest in this history forgotten.
    Daniel Sharp

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      From the West Chicago location on Roosevelt (Route 38) just east of the railroad tracks, this sounds like one of the houses in my senior traveling league. Perhaps it’s the successor to the place that burned down. The current house has about 38 lanes and is called Bowling Green Sports Center. The original house might have had another name when it opened—Stardust Bowl in nearby Addison was originally known as Pioneer Bowl. You can phone Bowling Green at 630-231-2400. If nobody there knows about the Star Center, try contacting the Suburban Windy City USBC Association.
      Good luck!

  174. Ralph Says:

    6/22 – On this day in bowling:
    1959 – Eddie Lubanski rolled 24 consecutive strikes in a bowling tournament in Miami, FL.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I wrote about Lubanski’s Double-300 in the June 2009 issue of BJI, the 50th anniversary. Ed told me that when he called his wife to tell her the news, the first thing she said was, “How much money did you make?”

  175. Brett Says:

    I’ve recently acquired a set of salt and pepper shakers from the 1969 tournament in Madison, WI. Could you give me a little history on these? Were they purchased? Just a token of memorabilia? Or what? They are so cool.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      A man named Ray Schafran ran a souvenir stand at each ABC Tournament from 1940 until his death in 1986, so the shakers were probably his merchandise. Schafran’s son Ray Jr. took over the operation after his dad died, but I don’t know if the family still has a concession at the tournament. Check with USBC Public Relations.

  176. Hamilton Gardner Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,

    I own a historic estate property in upstate New York in one of the buildings there is a one lane bowling alley. Having done some research I believe it to be the oldest bowling alley in the nation. Would love some thoughts on getting funding for it’s restoration.

    /Users/Hamilton/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.50.40 AM.png

    Feel free to view additional photos at



  177. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Are there any Videos or DVDs of early TV Bowling matches with Johnny King? If so, how can I purchase them?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      When it was located in St. Louis, the Bowling Museum rented “Championship Bowling” videos with Johnny King. Try contacting the museum’s new location in Texas.

  178. Ken Potter Says:

    Are you interested in images of the demolition of Cloverlanes yesterday in Livonia, MI. It originally opened in 1962.

  179. Tom Ferber Says:

    First let me tell you how much I enjoy the receiving the postings on your Bowling History blog. I was a bit surprised to see Al Markle in a recent post of the Hamm’s Beer team out of Chicago. When I was active in the BPA-GC Teenpinners Traveling League in the 50’s, I used to bowl with Al occasionally at Rolaway Bowl on Pulaski near Lawrence. I knew he was good but never THAT good.

    Anyway . . the purpose of this note is to ask if you would have any interest in .jpg’s of either the “ABC League Champion” patch from 1955-1956 or the patch I recently ran across from the BPA-GC sponsored “I Beat The Champion” from 1975-1976. They were either my late father’s or mine. Just the sort of stuff you never quite forget about.

  180. robertfrankgabriel Says:

    Love your bowling blog…I bowled my first game at Logan Bowling lanes in 1952…then spent most of my bowling years at Fireside Bowl when Hank Sophie owned the place. (Met my first wife in the lounge area at Fireside.)
    I now bowl at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove, IL…
    Thanks again for your wonderful info. Brings back my youth and my love for all the all time bowlers such as Don Carter, Buzz Fazio, Billy Hardwick, Carmen Salvino, and so so many more.
    My pals and I would attend “Championship Bowling” at Faetz Niesen Bowl….then right after the match, we would use the same lanes 5 & 6 to bowl thinking we were so cool…

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      That’s what is great about bowling—you can bowl on the same lanes the legends bowled on. I never got a chance to bat at Yankee Stadium, or to shoot hoops at Boston Garden, or to play golf at Augusta. But like you, I got to bowl on “Fabulous 5 & 6” at Faetz-Niesen.

  181. Jane Says:

    Enjoy reading and viewing pictures on this site. I am looking for an old bowling alley that was located near the intersection of Belmont and Central in Chicago. Any information you may have would be appreciated.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Manor Bowl was just south of Belmont on Central, and Stratford Bowl was on the next block after that. Each had about 18 alleys. I believe Stratford closed around 2000, and Manor about 2011, but I’m not sure. There are pictures of both places listed under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.

  182. blondiee_chicago@yahoo.com Says:

    Thank you! I appreciate your reply.

  183. Charlie Roberts Says:

    Somehow I stumbled across this site . . . started bowling when I was 8 (in the Cub Scouts) . . . set pins . . . gave up a trip to Europe with my parents (when I was in high school) because I was in two Summer leagues . . . not a day goes by when I don’t think about bowling. I’m really glad that Jake is “on duty.”


  184. James Bryant Says:

    I set pins in the late 30s and 40s at Riverdale Lanes on North Main Street downtown Dayton for Gregory and Nick Manos! Sometimes at Royal Lanes! Think they were on third floor on Fifth St.

  185. Greg Smith Says:

    I am wondering if you, or anyone for that matter, has any information on a bowling alley that was at one point in Lake Forest, Illinois. I lived there from 1961 to 1973 but I’m not sure the establishment made it past the mid-1960s. It was definitely gone by the late 1960’s. The couple of times I recall being in it would have been when I was 7 or 8 years old so I don’t have anything but very vague memories. However any information at all will be greatly appreciated.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The only info I have is that Lake Forest Lanes was located at Deerpath and Western, and that it had 12 lanes. I’d love to see a picture, too.

      • Greg Smith Says:

        You are correct I do believe. If I remember properly the entrance was on Western Avenue and it was located between Deerpath Avenue and Illinois Road. The structure itself was small so 12 lanes seems about right. I’ve tried for a long time to find a picture of it or a street shot that might show it with no luck. I’m not going to give up though.

    • George ZEE Says:

      The Bertrand family owned Lake Forest Lanes until the 1960s or 1970s. I do believe it was demolished shortly after they sold it. The family no longer owns their other bowling establishments (Bertrand Bowl and Sunset Bowl), but they are active in lake county bowling. Reach out to Tom Bertrand on facebook..he has tons of lake county bowling historical info and loves to share.

  186. Richard Says:

    Hi. Great Blog. I recently found a sterling silver belt buckle dated 1956 that says Major League Champions. Very detailed with a bowler on the front. Very detailed. Any ideas on what the Major League of bowling was?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Many bowling centers called their top league a Major League, so the belt buckle was probably awarded as a championship trophy from one such league. There was never any nation-wide bowling league known as the Major League. The only real national bowling league was called just that—the National Bowling League, in 1961-62.

  187. Catherine DeFrancesca Says:

    Dear Doctor Jake, Thank you for creating this blog! I am the granddaughter of Joe Sinke (My mom is Joanne who is the daughter of Joe Sinke.) In the 70s my grandfather showed me how to bowl and bought me my first bowling ball which I is still have. My grandfather was not only a amazing bowler, he was a wonderful, loving grandfather. My entire family thanks you!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Hi Catherine–
      During the late ‘sixties I bowled in the same league as your grandfather, the Habetler Friday Night Scratch League. I always enjoyed talking with him about all he’d seen in the bowling world. I was happy he lived to see himself elected to the Hall of Fame—he should have been voted in much sooner.

  188. Jamie Hurley Says:

    Doctor, I recall reading an article in a Bowlers Journal in the last couple years, written by you I believe, about two unlikely Doubles champions at the ABC. I believe they won sometime in the 40s or early 50s. They bowled together for years, but hadn’t put together the resumes to indicate championship potential. But they had a magic run with lots of strikes and claimed the title. Loved the story. Can you remind me who the duo was? Do you recall what issue of the BJ it appeared in? Thank you for your time, knowledge, and fascinating stories from the past.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The bowlers were Henry Kmidowski and John Gworek. They both averaged in the 170s, yet managed to win the Doubles championship at the 1946 ABC Tournament. The story first appeared in the July 2014 BJI, and is reprinted in my book The Bowling Chronicles.

      • Jamie Hurley Says:

        Thank you so much for the fast response. I just ordered a copy of the book. I very much look forward to getting it.

  189. lmharnisch Says:

    Greetings. Do you have anything on a bowling alley at 4149 W. Roosevelt, in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago? This would be in the late 1940s or early 1950s. This address is now a vacant lot. Thanks!

  190. Jess Says:

    I was wondering if you knew where I could find a print or even a high res download of the 1905 ABC Tournament, Exposition Building–Milwaukee, Wisconsin or the 1909 NBA Tournament, Madison Square Garden–New York, New York that are on your blog. I would really love a copy. Thank you!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Pictures of both tournaments are available online. I have a 33×25 print of the 1909 NBA framed in my rec room. I received it as a gift about 10 years ago, but the store that sold it is out of business now, and there’s nothing on the print indicating the company that made it. However, that NBA print was originally issued by Brunswick in 1909 as a promotion. Though Brunswick has gotten out of the bowling business, you should probably contact them, to see if they can help you.

  191. Charlie Roberts Says:

    Brunswick is out of the bowling business?

    When did this happen? I’ve been out of touch, obviously.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Brunswick sold off its bowling establishments in 2014, though the “Brunswick Zone” designation continues. In 2015 the bowling equipment division was sold. Since vinyl records are enjoying a comeback, perhaps the company is planning to re-enter that business. (Oh wait—Brunswick’s 1920s records were shellac. Never mind!)

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        So, is Brunswick-type stuff still being made and manufactured? I’ve been out of bowling for some time now but still think about it every day.

        BTW, I always thought that the “Brunswick Zone” label was a clear case of corporate ego interfering with good marketing. If someone driving by a “Brunswick Zone” doesn’t know that it is a bowling alley, there is no signage that indicates that.

        It’s particularly blurring in Central New Jersey in the city of New Brunswick area. Half of the business in the environs are “Brunswick this” and “Brunswick that” . . . i.e. Brunswick Bagels, Brunswick Car Wash, et al. At least they could add the word “BOWLING” to the signage at what used to be known as Carolier Lanes.

        Kind of stupid, eh?


      • Brian Carpenter Sr. Says:

        I grew up in Edison Lanes and bowled many times at Carolier. My mom ran Edison Lanes for almost thirty years and it was all Brunswick. Sad to see it go away. I think when Japan put in tons of lanes back I think in the 80-90’s and then the business crashed over there it really hurt them and AMF also. I just started bowling again after a 20 year layoff. Had a 258 game a week ago so maybe there is still hope.

  192. Charlie Roberts Says:

    As I mentioned, I think about bowling every single day of my life. I remember all of the houses that are no more when I drive by . . .

    I often think I’ll “unretire” for a third time but, being a realist and almost 70, I just know I’ll never get back up to the level I had achieved (and was still improving) when I got “bowled out” some 20 years ago.

    So, I think I’ll just “live in my memories” and stay happy . . . rather than self-inflict frustration on myself. Plus, it would be a “double bad” as today’s conditions are “cake” compared to back then.

    With what’s out there now (synthetics and all), I should shoot 800 every night! But . . . never will. Ugh!


    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Lane conditions today reward a shot with more speed and a sharper entry into the pocket. This gives an advantage to bowlers who are physically strong, so in a sense, bowling is now a more athletic activity than it was in the past. At the same time, older or weaker bowlers have to purchase more aggressive equipment to remain competitive. Why has bowling evolved this way? Follow the money!

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        What money?

        Bowling alleys have been closing up all over for years. Here at the North Jersey shore, there are only a handful of houses left when there used to be dozens. The City of Long Branch had three . . . now they have none.

        Sorry, making it easier didn’t make it better and prosper. Bowling will never die out but it’s slid way down on the list of things for people to do.

        And, yes . . . the landscape has changed dramatically. Instead of sticking their thumbs in to a bowling ball, people are flailing them on their hand-held personal devices.

        Good grief!



      • lmharnisch Says:

        I’m so old I remember when the local lanes (Naper Bowl) still had a few 2-finger bowling balls, though I don’t remember anyone ever using them. .

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        Where was Naper Bowl?

        Only real old guys used the two-finger balls.

        Trivia question for ya (don’t look it up): By ABC/USBC rules, what is the _maximum_ number of holes allowed in a bowling ball?

        Go . . .

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I didn’t say making it easier makes it better, and I know that bowling alleys have been going out of business for years. But . . . what sector of the bowling business has been raking in cash selling high-end equipment? That’s the money to follow. Too bad it’s a short-sighted approach.

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        With the price of equipment going up and the number of bowlers and houses going down . . . that doesn’t sound like a good business model to me.

        When the lanes were all wood, they would be waxed every week (or so) and oiled (with a “flit” gun) daily. There was no “shot” laid down. The oil was primarily to protect the lanes from wear. Most good bowlers back then “went up the second arrow/diamond” with those hard rubber balls and accuracy was the key to higher scores.

        The whole thing got nuts when the “plastic fantastics” came along. I was good friends with Darold Dobs before and during his tenure as top guy at the ABC and he told me that, by the time he got there, it was too late . . . the horse was already out of the barn . . . and there was no turning back . . . no way to fix the mess.

        300’s became as common as sunrise and the sport had lost its integrity.

        That’s about the time I “retired” for the second time.

        My first ball was a Brunswick “Featherweight” (I think that was the name . . . black ball with yellow speckles, 8 pounds) when I was in the Cub Scouts. Then, when Brunswick first played around with black lanes and white balls (for TV), I got one of the first white prototypes which had no name, just a serial number. It was a 12-pound ladies ball (I was still a lad . . . and an old girlfriend of mine . . . who I gave it to . . . still has it!) and my first 16-pounder was a Brunswick Pro Model, their first production white ball.

        The Pro Model was really expensive at $34.95 (while Black Beauties were $24.95) but I had a white ball!!!! (I still have the picture from my High School Yearbook of me on the Varsity bowling team and three of us were holding white balls . . . two of them were mine and one other guy . . . Patsy Geroni . . . had gone and got his own drilled up.)

        I still miss bowling but stay away mostly because I just know I could never get back to the level I once was at.



      • Larry L Brewer Says:

        When I bowled at the Bowlium in Chicago in the 1960’s I averaged between 185-190. I never learned to “spot” bowl — I was always (and still am) a “feel” bowler. Once I start my approach I have know idea what I’m looking at. Occassionally, I have to make my adjustment at the release point because it just doesn’t “feel” right. I’m still very active at age 70+ bowling in two leagues a week. My current average is between 205-210. Before the house that I bowl in put in their synthetic lanes in 2014 my average was 200-205. I did have to buy a new hybrid reactive ball (Wrecker) replacing my 4 year old urethane ball. Improvements in equipment (balls, shoes, gloves, etc), the new synthetic lanes and oil treatments, among other things all contribute to the higher scores. I don’t look at the changes as a bad thing just as rule changes, stronger athletes, better equipment, etc. in most sports have led to changes that the purist sport fan doesn’t necessarily like but has stayed with their favorite sport. Bowling isn’t as popular primarily because of all the other activity that wasn’t available 30+ years ago — home video, the increase interest among young people in soccer, iphones, etc plus not many people want to be tied down to bowling each week for 30+ weeks. We had 9 guys on our 5-man roster last year and 4 times during the season we only have 4 bowlers. I hope I’m able to bowl competitively for the next 15 years.

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        Hi Larry . . . you almost “convinced” me to unretire (again) but I think I’ll just keep my memories and probably will never bowl again.

        Keep ’em rollin’!



    • Brian Carpenter Sr. Says:

      I think most of the houses went out of business due to insurance rates. The fire hazard was so great when “oil” was used. The synthetics are not helping a lot and if you don’t know the right way to apply them the shot becomes a nightmare. And the ABC had to add an ingredient in the “conditioner” so they could read the pattern and it was changing the shot ever time a ball went down the lane. The price of recreational bowling has skyrocketed over the last thirty years and most houses now only rent lanes by the hour. The equipment has made the game easier but you pay the price for technology. My first new ball, a Brunswick Black Beauty, was $19,95 drilled, and the pro shop owner had to go to the hardware store to buy smaller drills for my finger holes. I saved my allowance for 20 weeks to buy it.

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        I think my reply to you Brian went to someone else. This site seems to jump around a bit.

        I really miss what bowling was . . . but am not attracted to what bowling now is.

        I still miss setting pins in a 6-laner (in the back of a German bar in Fair Haven, NJ) . . . 10 cents per game plus tips.

        Betcha most bowlers today have no idea why the pins still have a hole in the bottom . . . do you?



      • Brian Carpenter Sr. Says:

        I set pins (wooden, no plastic coating) in an 8 lane house in Metuchen, N.J. were my mom worked part time (then moved to Edison Lanes, 66 and then 112 lanes). I had to set the headpin first because I was too small to push down the tredle to get the nails up too set the rest of the deck. And they were not light. No extra weight holes inside the pins. Picking up the heavy balls onto the gravity ball return wasn’t easy either. The pin boys earned their ten cents a line. Bowling will never be what it was because of technology. But what games are? Plastics and synthetic products have made almost everything faster, longer, are easier, except maybe chess. I do it now for exercise and to meet new people and I have lived long enough now that I can finally say “back in my day”. It was sad that something out of the control of the bowling business drove them out, insurance and land values both went crazy.

  193. Teen Tangent @ WCPL Says:

    Any further information about Johnny King?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Johnny King died in Florida on March 12, 1998. My article about him is reprinted in The Bowling Chronicles. And as a bit of trivia, his actual first name was “Howard.”

  194. Frank Schmitt Says:

    During the 4th year of Championship Bowling in Louisville, KY, they still had the King-Of-The-Hill format. Buzz Fazio had just defeated Ed Kawolics to take over the top slot & the following week, he defeated somebody named Konji Matsuda. Did you ever hear of that guy? It sounds like he was brought over from Japan with a name like that but I’ve researched this guy & come up empty every time. And he never appeared on the show again. I’m curious whether you have any info on him. Thanks!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      All the info I have is from Fred Wolf’s commentary on the TV show. Kenji Matsuda was born in Tokyo in 1935, of Nisei parents who were in Japan on a visit. When the show was broadcast, Kenji was living in Denver, bowling in four leagues, and carrying a 195 average. He preferred to be called “Ken,” so that was the name on the back of his shirt. Admittedly nervous, he shot 157-194-170–521 with a lot of splits. Fazio had 686. BTW, there is currently a Japanese actor named Kenji Matsuda, though I don’t know if the is related to Kenji the bowler.

      • Frank Schmitt Says:

        Thanks, that’s more than I bargained for. Poor guy only beat the lowest score ever on the show by 14 pins (Morris Cramer shot 507 the following year in Coral Gables). At least he beat Marty Cassio’s 516 in Paramus during Bill Lillard’s 9-match winning streak. And the St Louis Bowling HOF apparently got his first name wrong, calling him “Konji.”

  195. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Any results from ABC matches between Lubanski and Johnny King?

  196. Philip mann Says:

    As a young boy in the 50s. Living in east rogers park,I remember a bowling alley on Morse ave. I have not been able to find any information on this location. Am I mistaken?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The 1955 Yellow Pages listing of bowling centers has Morse Avenue Recreation Center at 1308 West Morse Avenue. No mention made about number of lanes.

  197. Brittany Says:

    Hey J.R.,
    I’m writing from the costume department of a film. We have a 1950s bowling scene and we need old school lace up rental shoes. I’m having trouble finding anyone that has a set that they would sell or rent to us. Do you happen to know anyone?
    Thank you!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      First off, I’d contact the National Bowling Museum in Arlington, Texas. If they don’t have them, they can probably point you in the right direction. If you’re local to the Chicago area and are in a hurry, try one of the older, family-owned bowling alleys—Habetler Bowl, Timber Lanes, Lawn Lanes, Fireside Bowl, Southport Lanes are some that readily come to mind.
      Good luck!

  198. Frank Schmitt Says:

    Are you aware that the Bowling Hall of Fame is running a promotion called IBMHF Frame 4 Frame? It’s on Facebook and YouTube. The video runs about 3 minutes & it’s an appeal from 2 people (Tracy S Ebarb and Jessica Bell who is listed as the Curator). They are looking for donations to save what they’re calling their “deteriorating film library” of about 1,500 films of all types including the old trick shot stuff, instructional films and Championship Bowling & other series.

    To watch it, go to YouTube and type in “IBMHF Frame 4 Frame.” There is a 2nd video there also in the same vein. Do you know anything about this & if so, how long has this promotion been going on?

  199. Theodore D. Obourn Says:

    I’m writing a short story about a man who was a pinsetter (with semi-automated equipment, I think: the guys who cleared the pins and filled the racks by hand and sent the ball back up the chute) and I’m looking for some background details. Can you recommend any sources (either documentation or personal reminiscences or individuals) for information on what it was like to be a pinsetter? Thanks.

    • Brian Carpenter Sr. Says:

      I was in the era of full manual pin setting. I started at 5 years old and set pins for my dad on another lane when he bowled in the leagues at our 8 lane house. I had to take a pin and crawl onto the deck and set the headpin, then press the treadle for the spikes to set the rest of the deck. Lifting his 16 pound ball up to the rails was also not fun. I stopped setting pins about the time the semi machines came around. Our house, Metuchen Rec. (N.J.), went to full automated machines around 1954 so I never really saw the semi ones working. The pin boys made 10 cents a line and they earned it.

    • Charlie Roberts Says:

      As a teenager, I set pins in two different houses one with semi’s and one with spikes (the reason for the hole in the bottom of the pin) but I suggest you contact the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis. I believe they have operational lanes with all of the various pinsetting equipment that you could visit.


      Charlie Roberts

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        The Bowling Hall of Fame has been relocated to the USBC Campus in Arlington, Texas.

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        I guess I heard that . . . . not sure why . . . had a few hours to kill (before a flight) in St. Louis once and it never entered my mind to visit the Hall. Missed opportunity.

  200. Dave Tichard Says:

    Do you know who were the 33 founding members of the PBA? My dad, Carl Ti Richard is one. He is 94 and dingy well He dives to his office at the bowling center each day,

  201. Aaron Shane Says:

    Hello! I’m hoping you can help me find some information around a piece of Brunswick bowling history.

    I found 12 Brunswick Score King candlepin pins while cleaning out a family estate.

    I am trying to find out the age of these candlepins based on the Brunswick logo, but am having no luck.

    Can you be of help to the history of these candlepins?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’m sorry, but I can’t help you on candlepins. Try contacting Brunswick, or the International Candlepin Hall of Fame in Massachusetts (http://www.candlepinbowling.com/hall-of-fame)
      Good luck!

    • William Whyte Says:

      There is a group on Facebook called “Candlepin Chat” which includes ALL sorts of people involved in the sport of candlepin bowling. Bowlers, proprietors, historians from both the US and Canada. I would HIGHLY recommend that you send out a message to this group and i am sure that they could provide the information that you would like regarding your Brunswick candlepins!
      – Bill Whyte

  202. Ethan Galvin Says:

    Anything new bowling tapes on Johnny King?

  203. ryan schaefer Says:

    Can you recommend a resource for unlicensed / small licensing fees for images of men bowling in the 1950s and 1960s? Wondering where you find most of the images that you use on your blog.
    Thank you

  204. Tip Hahn Says:

    There were lanes I think on Fullerton. It was upstairs. I bowled in a league there with some of the top bowlers in the area

  205. Jim Phillips Says:

    I was wondering if you had any pictures of centers in Phoenix?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I posted a 1966 photo of Green Gables Lanes this past April. Click on “FAMOUS BOWLING ALLEYS” and scroll down.

  206. Liam Says:

    Here’s a couple of pics of a bowling lane I played few games on while trekking in the Alps… how do I get them to you?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      That sounds interesting. If you like, just email them as a photo attachment.

      • Liam Says:

        J.R. I hope you get kick out of these, stayed the night while hiking from Dijon to Turin… Great Bavarian beer and schnitzel and had a ball bowling with the local guys…

        Sent from my iPhone


      • J.R. Schmidt Says:


        No attachments came through. You might have to send them through a desktop or laptop.

        I’ve been to Europe a number of times, but only bowled there once, at La Defense in Paris. I shot 207 with a house ball and then quit—to preserve my European continent average.




      • Liam Says:

        Hi, I tried a second time using my Apple computer, are you saying it didn’t go through either… how about sending me your regular email address, if you’re comfortable with that…

  207. Dana Cole Says:

    Hello, I would really love to be in contact with you in regards to bowling pictures, newspapers, magazines, etc … that I have of my mother Georgette Hartmann DeRosa, my grandmother Ruth Hartmann and my father Fred DeRosa. Too many to list really, lots of front page coverage! They were all champion bowlers in the Chicago area from the 1940s-1960s. You have had some posts about the teams they were on. My mother is in the Chicagoland USBC Hall of Fame – 1988. She passed away a week ago, and I am honoring her by putting together the very best collection of her years as a bowler. I would be thrilled to include anything you may have that I don’t, and I would love to share with you what I have so far. I have been searching the newspaper archives for any and all information that I can possibly find. My father would love to talk with you as well. He has a very clear memory of their bowling history together. If there is anyone else interested in sharing information they may have on my parents and grandmother, that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so very much!

  208. Jan N Says:

    I am on the hunt for a specific bowling alley where my Grandparent’s first met. This was in 1952 shortly after my Grandfather came to America. He describes it in his biography as “bowling alley on Roosevelt Road west of Austin Boulevard”, although his memory may have been wrong about exact streets. I am wondering if anyone has a place in mind? I found Strikers Bowling Alley but it isn’t a perfect match of his description, I am wondering if someone may have more info (especially if the building is no longer standing)

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Suburban Lanes is the only one I know of from that era on Roosevelt west of Austin. Could it be Roosevelt EAST of Austin? That would be Governors Lanes. Both places are gone, but pictures are posted under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS.

  209. Reginald Barnes Says:

    I met my future wife at Hollywood Bowl 7020 S. Wentworth in March of 1963. Does anyone have a photo of this OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEY?

  210. Patricia Timmens Says:

    Hi! Nice to see the old Pilsen Bowling Alley. Is it possible to buy a copy of that photo? And where can I see other old photos that you might have? I grew up there, attended St. Adalbert’s. My Uncle Snubby had something to do with that bowling alley and I believe there was a man named Whitehead… or maybe that was a nickname. I will have to ask my brother, he worked there in the late 50s, early 60s. Thanks for your help.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      If you want a copy of any of the photos for personal use, just download them from the blog. There are also a photos of Wozniak’s, Cermak Recreation, and other houses from the neighborhood under OLD CHICAGO BOWLING ALLEYS. My other blog, Chicago History Today, has over two hundred “Then and Now” pairs of photos from around the city under CHICAGO’S CHANGING SCENE. And the proprietor you remember was Jack Whitehead.

  211. Ralph Says:

    Pilsen Bowling Alley looks a lot like the old Manor Bowl on Central Ave.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      It sure does!

      • Greg Smith Says:

        Hello To All,

        I hope my question makes it to the correct area here as I am not too familiar with blogs.

        Many decades ago I recall a bowling alley located in Lake Forest. It was demolished probably sometime in the 1960s. At that time I was pretty young so I’m not sure what the actual facts are.

        If anyone has any knowledge about such an establishment I would love to hear them. A picture would be icing on the cake. For some reason I can find no information about it on any Lake Forest historical websites.

        Thank you in advance.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Hi Readers—
        Greg has been after this information for over two years. The only help I could give him was that Lake Forest Lanes was located at Deerpath and Western in Lake Forest. If anybody has any more specific information, please send it in.
        And Greg—if none of our readers can help, your best bet is finding out whether the Lake Forest Public Library has any old phone books or business directories in their reference collection. If so, you might have to make a personal trip there to consult them.

      • Greg Smith Says:

        Thank you for your help with this! And I believe your idea regarding a visit is a good one. It sounds like a perfect reason for a long weekend this summer since I now reside on the other side of Lake Michigan.


  212. Jeff Wilson Says:

    Dr. Jake,

    We are working to renovate a vintage bowling alley on the west side of Chicago and are looking to contact anyone with vintage, black bowling lane balls that may be for sale to use at our alley. I know this is a long shot, but we love your blog and wanted to reach out and see if you knew of anyone like this? Thanks!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      OK, Readers—Jeff is restoring and re-opening the vintage Northwest Bowl, on Chicago’s Northwest Side, as Avondale Bowl. If you can help out this project with any of those old black bowling balls that your wife is using as a planter, please get in touch with him.

  213. Greg Cartwright Says:

    My mother has an old ticket to an Andy Varipapa exhibition event that was held in Tacoma, Washington, around 1947. Any interest in something like that for historical or collection purposes?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You should probably contact the Bowling Museum in Texas to see if they are interested.

  214. amyadurhamAmy Durham Says:

    Dr. Jake,
    I’d like to see if you have any photos or articles regarding my grandfather, Ed Bourdase. He was on the PBA tour through the 60’s and 70’s, and was frequently on Championship Bowling. Surprisingly, I can’t seem to find anything on him when I search the USBC site, even though he was inducted into a local chapter not too long ago. He has just recently passed away and I have been looking for things to share with my mom and uncle, who spent their childhood traveling across country during his professional days.
    Thank you!

    • Ralph Says:

      I did a quick Google search and found this, 3 videos of Ed.

      Championship Bowling: Ed Bourdase vs Dick Downey 1964 1965

      Championship Bowling: Ed Bourdase vs Johnny Guenther 1962

      Championship Bowling: Tommy Tuttle vs Ed Bourdase [1965]

      I hope this helps.

  215. PAUL PRATHER Says:

    May I use the pic of the Wood Dale bowling alley for a video I am making about my childhood. It will end up on my youtube channel.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      You may certainly use the Wood Dale bowl photo. Please send me a link when the video goes up on Youtube.

  216. Ethan Bohannan Says:

    I am looking for anyone who knew or worked with Ted Lindstrom at any of these alleys over the years. Ted was a AMF pinsetter Mechanic for as long as I know. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Feel free to email me at EthanBohannan@yahoo.com


    Bowl Haven 1950
    1542 W. Devon Ave.

    Gabby Hartnett Bowl 1951-1955

    Bowling Rec 1953
    (currently Bowlway Lanes)
    810 villa st Elgin

    Jack Gunnel lanes 1955-1958

    Bowling Lanes 1960-1963
    5221 N Broadway

    Lamberts Lanes 1963-1966
    6314 N Broadway

    cinderella Lanes 1964
    5612 w madison

    Timber Lanes 1966-1968
    1851 Irving Park

    Nisei Bowlium 1970
    4361 Sheridan rd

    Riviera Lanes 1967-1986 (almost 20 years)
    Melrose Park

  217. George LeCain Says:

    I’m interested in the old Make That Spare bowling show. I may be wrong, but I believe that I saw a lefthander make the 6-7-8-10 for the $5,000, but I could be wrong. It was not Jerry McCoy who defeated Schroeder on the show. I know that Carter (twice), Weber, Monroe Moore, and (I think) Jim Schroeder made the selected money/car shot. Is there any information on this show other than what is on Wikipedia and youtube? Do you recall the lefthander’s name (if it happened)? Thanks.

  218. Larry Moraca Says:

    Great bowling blog Dr. Jake. I grew up about seven houses down from Monte Carlo Bowling alley in the 1950’s and 60’s. Last time I went there it was a auto parts store. Spent many hours bowling there and hanging out.
    I have been looking for any photo of it either inside or the exterior. Any sources that I could use to obtain a photo like the one shown?
    If so, please let me know, I would like one for my den.
    Thanks again,
    Larry M.

  219. Steve Says:

    I just noticed Avondale Bowl (Milwaukee & Belmont) is re-opening soon with 8 lanes (Jan. 2020). Do you have any additional information about its history?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Just personal history. I won a big chunk of money there in 1970 and used it to buy an engagement ring.

    • Charlie Roberts Says:

      Always good to hear about a center re-opening. Love those small houses . . . I used to set pins (spikes) in a 6-laner behind a German bar in Fair Haven, NJ. The building is still there and the alleys are still under the flooring. Maybe someday we can bowl there again!

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        In 2005 I wrote a Bowlers Journal article about six old bowling lanes discovered at St. Mary of the Angels parish in Chicago. The bowling room has been converted to a storage facility decades before, and the lanes had been forgotten. Now (in 2005) they were being offered at auction. I don’t know what happened after that—we moved on to other topics. Anybody out there know more about this?

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        I would love to go on a road trip tour of true old/small houses that are still in operation or, at least, accessible. I’m based in New Jersey so anywhere in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England would be feasible. (Other areas would be considered too.) Does anyone know if there is some kind of online directory of bowling alleys (with descriptions of their facilities)? I’d really want to explore houses with the original wood lanes and approaches and especially those who still use pinboys/girls (i.e. non-automatic).

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Check out Kevin Hong’s website, The Vintage Alleys Project. Here’s the link–

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        Thanks for the tip! Wil do.

  220. jds Says:

    I have some photographs of the family owned center where I work going back to the late 1950’s. Would you like me to send you some?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Please send them to me! This blog seems to have become an unofficial collection point for those kind of materials.

  221. jonathandrew stefancin Says:

    Is there an email address you give out for this kind of thing? I’m sorry, I’m not able to find it

  222. jonathandrew stefancin Says:

    Here’s an awfully strange question but you seem to have a vast knowledge. I’ve looked on websites that are databases for filming locations but I haven’t found this one yet.

    looking for the bowling alley, most likely in California, where Grease 2 was filmed

    If “Dr Jake” or any of his readers can help, I’d appreciate it.


  223. jonathandrew stefancin Says:

    Augh! I looked on IMDB, i must have missed it.

    Thanks everyone

  224. Jim Lapinski Says:

    Dr. Jake
    Jim from Fireside Bowl in Chicago
    I have a question
    Do you know the name of the bowling alley that Eddie Gaedel hung out at when he got into a fight and subsequently died from his injuries. In case you don’t remember Eddie Gaedel was the midget that batted for Bill Veeck s St Louis Browns. I’m sure you know that but just in case.
    It was in the Englewood area because that is where his mother lived and he walked there from his mothers apartment. Thanks, Jim

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      Eddie Gaedel was living at 5042 S. Wolcott Ave. when he died in 1961. I don’t know for sure what bowling alley he was at, but from his address, I’d guess it was Jay-Bee Recreation, on the NW corner of 51st and Damen.


  225. alanmeyers50 Says:

    Hi Dr. Jake,

    I grew up on the South Side (see my Cheltenham Bowl comment), but as an adult I hung out on the North Side. One time I visited a bowling alley somewhere on the North Side. I was hoping that you could help me figure out which alley it was. I was there only once, but it made an impression on me – I think because it seemed very old-fashioned. I say “visit” because I didn’t bowl there – I went with a friend to shoot pool. The establishment was on the second floor; a stairway led from the sidewalk entrance door straight up to the place, a la “The Color of Money”. The part of the counter at the top of the stairs was where you got your billiard balls, chalk and triangle. To the right of that counter was the room with the pool tables – large, old ones – the kind with leather net bags under the pockets. The room had some real old-style chairs; they looked ones you might have seen in an old Trailways bus sta. There was space for only a few tables ’cause there was a bunch of lockers in the room too. Now to the left, from the top of the stairs, was the food and drink area (I didn’t go in there) and, beyond that, I could see the lanes. I have a vague memory of a big window, like a picture window, in the wall of the food area so you could sit there and look at all the lanes. Does this sound familiar to you? If not, maybe one of your readers will recognize the place from my description. I hope so!

    I realize this last comment is not necessarily about bowling alleys but, speaking of “The Color of Money”, can anyone tell me which establishments were used as locations for the scene where Forest Whitaker hustles Paul Newman, and for the scene on the stairs with Tom Cruise and his pool cue?

    Ftr, Dr. Jake, I think your blogs and websites are great – much enjoyed and appreciated!

    Alan Meyers

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      “The Color of Money” was filmed at Chris’s Billiards, at 4637 North Milwaukee Avenue. It’s still in business. Chris’s was originally located further south on Milwaukee, next to the Portage Theatre. The bowling alley you mention sounds like North Bowl, at around 2600 West North Avenue. Or maybe Lincoln Square Rec, on Lincoln just north of Lawrence. Or it could be any number of places. As you said, maybe somebody can answer this for you.

      • Jim Lapinski Says:

        Sounds to me like North Center it was above an appliance store. I believe one of the scenes was filmed at North Center too. I think they used Pioneers pool hall which was on the first floor did not use the bowling alley. There was a bar on Fullerton Near DePaul that was also used. They had a sign out front for years that said color of money was filmed here.

  226. alanmeyers50 Says:

    Dr. Jake and Jim, thanks very much for the information. I Googled “North Center Bowl Chicago” and found the following:

    I excerpted this from an original post by ragbug74 on 11-16-2005 at the azbilliards.com forum.

    Originally Posted by ragbug74
    “A few of my buddies and I were talking about some of the pool halls we’ve visited in Chicago that were used for scenes in TCOM. A year or so ago, we went to (what was a few years earlier) North Center Bowl and discovered a shiney new Starbucks in it’s place. Can anyone tell me how long ago the old buildings were demolished and new buildings built?

    “For those who don’t know, North Center Bowl was the hall that you had to go up the long flight of stairs to enter. Once inside the doorway, the bar was immediately in front of you with the tables to the right. When Eddie gets hustled and leaves Vince and Carmen to finish the road trip to Atlantic City alone, they have a big blow-up in the stairwell. They also pull the hand railing off the wall during the scene.

    “When we did visit several years ago, we had an interesting conversation with the bartender. I believe she said her anunt owned the place at the time of the filming. We were talking with her about the movie and she offered an interesting piece of trivia. The scene didn’t call for the hand rail to be pulled off the wall, it’s just something that happened “in the heat” of the scene. The production crew liked it so much, it made it into the final cut of the film. She said everyone on the cast signed the railing and they had it displayed in their home. This is one of the reasons I like to visit these types of places….you sometimes hear stories that ‘you had to be there’ to know about.”


    The following I excerpted from an original comment by 1 Pocket Ghost on 11-16-05, same site.

    Originally Posted by 1 Pocket Ghost
    “Hey rag, Northcenter closed down about 7 years ago…..Sorry, but there really are no stories about the place, because…Northcenter had a great old time/spitoons in the corner, look to it – but that’s all it had – the equipment was not good, no serious players EVER went there, and there was less than zero action.”


    (I don’t know about condition of the lanes. – Ghost was talking about the pool room.) So I’m thinking North Center Bowl WAS the place I shot pool at… Looks like it may have closed in 1998 or 1999?

    For the record, over the years I bowled at the Playdium, in league from 1979 at Marigold Arcade and joined a City league at Marina City Bowl in 1991. The latter moved to Diversey River Bowl years ago and this March we were 1 week away from bowling for the championship when the season was suspended due to Covid-19!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:


      I posted an exterior photo of North Center from 1975. Maybe that will confirm your memory.


      In the “Comments” from that post, a reader confirms that scenes where Fast Eddie himself gets hustled in “The Color of Money” were filmed there. Chris’s Billiards on Milwaukee Avenue must have been used in another part of the film—in one scene, the actors walk out of the billiard hall and onto the street, and it’s Milwaukee Avenue. I should probably get the DVD of the movie as a companion of my DVD of “The Hustler.”

  227. Alan Meyers Says:

    Thanks Doc,

    I left a few words of reminiscence at your Universal Bowling and Golf post.

    I wonder what league bowling will be like this fall in a Covid-19 world! I can live without beer bongs, but no pizza?!

    ~ Alan

  228. drpepperforever Says:

    In a study of 447,000 pba frames, taken from 2003, there was a single pin spare converted LESS successfully than the 10 pin, but more successfully than the 7 pin. That one pin spare was the 1 pin.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Interesting, but not surprising when you think about it. After all, the bowler had already missed the headpin once, on his first ball.

    • Charlie Roberts Says:

      In all my many years of bowling . . . I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 9-carry leaving only the headpin.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I see it happen at least once a season. Somebody goes by the headpin on the right and leaves the 1-2-4 standing, before a stray pin takes out the 2-4. Maybe I should move up to a league with more accurate bowlers.

      • George LeCain Says:

        It’s a fairly common occurrence…

      • Charlie Roberts Says:

        On what planet?

        The oddest leave I actually have seen is 1-3-4-6-7-9-10 done by a teammate of mine (good bowler 200+ average) in a scratch league. Right-handed, somehow he punched through the 2 and took out the 5 and 8. Can’t remember if he converted.

      • drpepperforever Says:

        In those 447,000 PBA frames, the one pin was only pin left standing 83 times. About once every 5500 frames.

        As the good doctor wrote, the bowler already missed it once. 🙂

  229. Dave Says:

    Does anyone remember South Shore Bowl, perhaps at 79th and South Shore Drive? Dad used to take me there many times. It was on the Second Floor with the serious bowler lanes on the side opposite the front desk (no longer recall how many), and 12 lanes on the front desk side that were mostly used for open bowlers. On the left and right walls on the serious bowler side were red chairs bolted to the wall for lane judges to watch for fouls. Pot games with TV pros included were normal. Buddy Bowmar bowled a 300 in one by striking out in the 10th with three Brooklyns.

  230. Ralph Machonga Says:

    I am letting you know we lost another bowling alley in Illinois. Pinsters Bowl on Sheridan Road in Zion. They had a fire there but they are not rebuilding. The lanes have been removed and the building has been sold.


  231. drpepperforever Says:

    The PBA has taken down all the tournament archives. Suddenly, the archives are under construction, and they are hoping to have it back soon.

    I don’t see where the archives needed improving.

    I want the archives back!!! 🙂

  232. drpepperforever Says:

    Nitram242 on flickr.com has some interesting photos of the half demolished former Woodview bowling alley in Elgin.

    They left behind the pins, balls, and shoes.

  233. Joe Natoli Says:

    Hello Dr Jake, I am trying to find a list of the original 33 investors/members of the PBA, I can’t find this information anywhere, are you aware of the names of the original 33? Thank you

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Of course I’ve heard that there were 33 charter PBA members, but I’ve never run across the actual list, either. In his autobiography, Ed Lubanski says there were about 60 bowlers present at the 1958 Masters in Syracuse, when Eddie Elias presented his plan. Lubanski names a bunch of those men, but doesn’t say which of them forked over $50—and he himself admits he was skeptical at first. Lubanski also mentions that the first 100 bowlers to join the PBA are considered “Founding Members,” and lists himself and a bunch of his Detroit contemporaries. But getting back to the original 33. Carmen Salvino was definitely one of them, and talks about it in his own autobiography. Ray Bluth was probably a charter member, too. Maybe Carmen or Ray would have the list of 33.

      • Joe Natoli Says:

        Thanks, I have reached out to the PBA and have composed this list from articles, Facebook posts, story’s and biography’s but it may or may not be accurate hopefully PBA has the list.

        Joe Schmidt
        Jim Schroeder
        Bill Lillard Sr
        Carmen Salvino
        Don Carter
        Dick Weber
        Ray Bluth
        Harry Smith
        Billy Welu
        Frank Esposito
        Chuck Pezzano
        Pat Patterson
        Morris Cramer
        Vinnie Yatitto
        Fred Racilli
        Fuzzy Shmada
        George Young
        Bruce Koch
        Fred Riccilli
        Whitey Harris
        Ed Mady
        Therm Gibson
        Paul Krumske
        Bill Bunetta
        Lou Campi
        Joe Donato
        Buzz Fazio
        Matt Lebhar
        Glenn Allison
        Steve Nagy
        Harry Smith
        Ray Bluth
        Dick Hoover

        A couple of others that were at the meeting but couldn’t find anything about them joining

        Robert “Bobby” Bellew
        Vito Quercia
        Junie McMahon

        Sent from my iPhone

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Thanks for the list. This is the first time I’ve ever seen it.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Bluth, Smith, and Riccilli are each on the list twice. That cuts it down to 30. So maybe Bellew, Quercia, and McMahon belong and make it 33.

      • Joe Natoli Says:

        You’re right, thank you, no response from PBA yet.

  234. Dave Batek Says:

    Dr. Jake I’m so happy to have found your blog I was fortunate enough at the age of 19 to be taken onto a team in the Seno‘s classic league at Senos Playdium in Bellwood Il. I tried to stay up to speed by reading the Chicago Bowler Weekly who knew a lot of the top names in the area after four years in the league I was able to nail down hi average by throwing a full roller. But my biggest accomplishment from day one was earning the respect from Al Bruder and other top-notch bowlers that’s still enthralls me today. The biggest name I remember before getting into the league was Louis Cioffi. I was lucky enough to follow my dad‘s footsteps as he also bowled in this league . The most competitive bowling situations that I’ve ever encountered

  235. Gary Maniora Says:

    What was the name of the bowling alley above the A & P on Ashland Ave., one block north of Belmont?

  236. James Lapinski Says:

    Dr Jake
    Do you know when Goransons Bowl became Humboldt Bowl? Mr Goransons either died and it was sold or he just sold It because he owned the liquor store and bowling alley. Then it became a Jewel downstairs and Humboldt Bowl upstairs. Eventually Jewel moved out and the thrift store moved in. Any idea? My guess is mid to late 50s. Jim Fireside Bowl

  237. David Ohm Says:

    Hey Jake Very long time since the old Thursday night Sportsman league. What year did the building burn down.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Hi Dave–
      I think it was around 1995. The last year I bowled there was 1990, when John Bieg owned it and called it Bieg’s Bowl. Somebody told me that Bieg later sold it to a Hispanic guy who sunk some money into the operation—replacing the old alleys, and so on. Then the fire came. The building was wrecked, so the owner tore the whole thing down and sold the land. At least, that’s what I was told.

      • James Lapinski Says:

        Bob Sanders and his partner a Mikey Sanchez took it over. They didn’t replace the lanes they just doctored them up, it would have cost a fortune to replace. Machines were in bad shape also. They ran it for awhile but it did not work. They went out of business, I bought a few things out of there when it closed but they wanted a lot for everything. It was already closed when the fire happened.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Thanks for clearing this up.

      • James Lapinski Says:

        Your welcome,

        I was reading one of your past blogs about Our Lady of Angels basement bowling alley. I was redoing my lanes at the time and Don from Langlo bowling and billiards and I went over there. The back of lanes 1 and 2 had been cut off to put in an office. In the middle of lanes 3-4-5 had a huge hump in it about 12 inches as the basement floor had heaved upwards. The lanes were in terrible shape. They went up for auction on eBay and If I remember someone out of Kansas bought them for $30,000 on winning bid. Buyer had to remove. Don figured it to be around $25-30,000 to in man power and equipment to remove.it had to be done 2 weeks after sale was complete.I think it was Jayhawk bowling removing it for an outfit that was doing vintage restoration mods for a place that went belly up.
        The lanes were awful but the Brunswick B1 racks were all still there for rack pin setting. The backstops were there but were in need of repair. Don said each of those would be a few thousand to restuff. It was a big undertaking for very little in return. He estimate the equipment was really worth $3-5000. Due to labor intensive removal. It was like a time capsul down there. Still had board up of parishioners serving in the service during WWII and Korea. They said last time it was used was in 80s when a parishioner tried to get it going for parish parties but there was very little interest.

  238. Jake Glaser Says:

    Hi Jake,
    I stumbled across your blog when searching for pictures of my grandfather’s bowling alley in Philadelphia – Jimmy Dykes Colonial Recreation (https://bowlinghistory.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/jimmy-dykes-colonial-recreation-bowling-philadelphia-1948/). Your blog post includes an old black and white photo that I would like to frame and hang in my basement next to one of the pool tables that used to sit in the basement of the alley. Would you by chance have a higher resolution copy of the image to share?

    Thank you in advance.


  239. Nelson Sartoris Says:

    What was the name of the bowling alley on Stoney Island between 68th and 69th streets? It was on the west side of the street on the second floor back in the 40s and 50s. I used to bowl there as a kid.

  240. Jeff Wilson Says:

    Hello, Dr. Jake! I am one of the owners of what is now known as Avondale Bowl in Chicago. We are located at 3118 N. Milwaukee Ave. I am trying to track down old pictures or information about the bowling alley that we took over which closed as Northwest Bowl in the early 90s. The space was also once called Court Lanes and then Avondale Recreation until it became Northwest Bowl in the 1950s.

    Any info you might have would be great or if you can point me in the right direction of where I can find out more info. Thanks a lot and really enjoy your blog!

  241. Joe Says:

    Hello Dr Jake,

    I am one of Jimmy Smith Melillo’s Great grand sons and I have scrapbooks from 100 years ago all about Jimmy Smith. He had such an interesting story and I want to know how I can share all this great history with the world.

    I would love to connect sometime.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Hi Joe–
      That sounds like a marvelous treasure! You should consider donating the scrapbooks to a place that recognizes their historic value, and will take good care of them. The obvious place is the Bowling Museum, in Texas. There’s also the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library. I’m in Chicago, and our Newberry Library does collect some sports memorabilia. Let me know what you decide to do.
      Keep in touch,

  242. Larry Lezon Says:

    In the mid to late 1960’s there was a major fire at a bowling alley on N. Central Ave. either Stratford Lanes or Manor Bowl. I bowled at both but was either away at school or in the Service when it happened. Seems there may have been at least one injury or fatality and it may have included/been my childhood buddy. Met some childhood friends recently and my good friend’s name came up but no one had any details. Can you help by at least letting me know if and when there was a fire at either alley?

    • James Lapinski Says:

      Stratford burned down Manor stayed in existence until about 12-15 years ago. At the time Stratford had a liquor license and Manor did not. When Stratford burned down Manor got a liquor license and started to serve liquor. Both were nice bowling alleys. I believe part of the big parking garage is were Stratford was.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Stratford was our home house in the North End Traveling League in 1976-77. If there was a fire there, it must have been later than that.

      • James Lapinski Says:

        Stratford burned down sometime in 70s

  243. Chuck LaRosa Says:

    I was wondering about Kenny Barbers PBA tour record. I know he made some TV finals but that’s about it. Chuck

  244. Janet Woolum Says:

    Dr. Jake,
    I’m doing some research on WIBC before it merged with USBC. I’m looking for a copy of the final version of The Woman Bowler titled: Frames and Lanes: Special Commemorative Final Issue, Spring/Summer 2005, The International Bowling Hall of Fame does not have a copy. Have you seen anything like this?

    Janet Woolum
    Author: Outstanding Women Athletes (1998).
    Former Team USA member

  245. Nancy Carreon Says:

    I bowled for the Lane Tech HS girls bowling team in the State competition in 1975. I faced BOYS from Dixon who won the Girls State Championship. Do you remember this? I am looking for some print documentation of how the boys got to participate in the girls league . I recall some saying Title IX got reversed on us, lol.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      This is a great story, but I don’t recall it. If you can give me an approximate date and the bowling center where this happened, I’ll try to find out more about it.

  246. Adam Says:

    Hi, trying to find the name of an alley I went to with my dad In perhaps 95-96. It was a run down 8 lane alley, I want to say somewhere in the general area of desplaines/ohare/northwest. Definitely wood lanes bone dry and lack of maintenance. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’m thinking of Edison Park Bowl, a second-floor place with 8 lanes on the far Northwest Side of Chicago. It’s still in business.

      • Adam Says:

        Thanks for the reply! I just looked at that one, and timber on Irving. Could be either really, I guess I’ll just have to visit both and see! Only other thing I can think of is if it was an alley long closed, or perhaps it was a 12 lane.

      • James Lapinski Says:

        Des Plaines bowl was torn down as part of revitalization of downtown Des Plaines it was torn down in 2003 2004 timeframe condos are there now

      • Adam Says:

        That may have been it! Sadly there’s really no info or pictures online that I can find.

      • James Lapinski Says:

        It was 8 lane very old fashioned bowling owner Wayne Grossman and his brother. Had old diner up front and old bar in it too. It was a great place.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I think you nailed it, James. I remember the place, though I was never inside. It was on Pearson Street just north of Northwest Highway.

      • Loren Argall Says:

        > Dr. Jake, > > I know this is not what you were looking for but since you don’t have any pictures at all, this is all I could offer. My parents lived in the condos across the street and I just didn’t get there in time to get the pictures I had hoped to get. I took these two shots, feel free to share them or do as you wish with them. I took these on July 1, 2004.

        Loren Argall

        > > > >>

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Loren–Thanks for the note—but I didn’t get any pictures with it.

      • Loren Argall Says:

        Sorry about that, let me try it again.

        Loren Argall


      • James Lapinski Says:

        It was at Golf and Elmhurst Road. It was owned Harold and Marty Webber. Who also owned Thunderbird in Mount Prospect, All Star in Skokie a s then later Marty built Woodfield Lanes. All are gone now except Thunderbird became Bowlero, and now is Bowlmor.

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        I’m sorry they changed the name of Thunderbird. Because of the easy conditions there, we used to call it “Thunder-block.”

  247. S S Says:

    I learned to bowl at striking lanes in Mt Prospect
    Know it’s no longer there
    Looking for information on its history.

  248. Patrick Ahern Says:

    I’m looking for info on Park View Lanes bowling alley somewhere on south side could have been in the city, Hal Schumacher owned the place. Purchased in early 1960 s and then I believe his kids. Oldest Hal??Susan Gaylon Gary Mark Ricky and Harold.

    In the early to mid 1960s . The Schumacher family lived behind my family in Evergreen Park and I was good friends with Mark, Ricky and Gaylon a bit too. Mark, with dads permission took me to the bowling alley 2-3 times on Saturday morning when Mark was competing on a team in a league. Please advise if you have any info on this bowling alley or family from the 1960s. Thanks Patrick Ahern

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      The closest I can come to that name is Park Manor Lanes, at 75th and Michigan. Maybe some one else reading this remembers Park View Lanes.

  249. jonathandrew stefancin Says:

    Dr Jake, I just heard that professional wrestler “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff owned a bowling alley in Fayetteville, GA. Any idea which one and during what years? I can’t find much about it.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      His center was Fayetteville Lanes, opened in 1987. BJ ran an article about him, but I don’t think it’s available online. Maybe you can get a reprint—
      Herbst, Dan. “Wrestling Within a New Profession.” Bowlers Journal, Jul 1991:102-104.

  250. markrfranz Says:

    Dr. Jake,
    I enjoy reading your blog. Here’s a link to some great interior and exterior photos of mid-1920’s Francisco’s in Omaha. It was 24 lanes split between the 3rd and 4th floor of the S.S. Kresge building. By far the largest house in Omaha at the time. Thought this could be a good addition to your blog. https://durhammuseum.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15426coll1/search/searchterm/Francisco%20bowling

  251. Patrick j Thibault Says:

    Hello Dr. Jake,

    I’m curious if you could direct me to any information about the Ace Bowling Ball Comp.?

    Thank you,

  252. William morgan Says:

    G&Lbowlimg in Chicago . My dad was married for a short time to the owners daughter. All I know is she was the “G” ( her last name) now it seems she was pregnant and gave the baby up so I have a brother out there . Can you tell me the last name of the family “G” in G&L

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I don’t know what the “G” stood for in G&L. One of the old-time Chicago proprietors was named Goldammer, and another was named Goranson. Perhaps someone who reads this will know the answer to your question. Good luck!

      • James Lapinski Says:

        I don’t know if he had other bowling alleys but Goranson owned what became Humboldt Bowl on North Ave.

      • William morgan Says:

        Actually the family was Italian as was a good % of the residents so I know the last name definitely sounds italian

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