BOWLING ESTABLISHMENT HISTORY
IF ANYONE HAS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE GSBA
ELKHORN SALOON & BOWLING ALLEY:
Located at 625 E. Adams. Number of lanes unknown. John Weisz, Jr., the proprietor. Listed in the 1874-75 directory, but not listed in the 1879-80 edition.
JACOB JOERGER BOWLING ALLEY:
Located at 209 W. Market. Number of lanes unknown. Listed in the city directory for 1874-75 only.
GLENWOOD PARK PAVILION:
Located on the eastern edge of Springfield, near Rochester. Two lanes. Ethel Kalb was related to the founders of the pavilion/lanes. Some believe it was opened in the 1860’s, while others believe it was during the 1890’s. One newspaper speaks of an opening on May 5, 1890, but unclear of whether the initial or a re-opening.
DANA THOMAS HOUSE:
This was one lane in a private home. The one lane was 63′ 4″ long, with 60′ 3″ from the foul line to the head pin. The lane was 3′ 7″ wide, with 9 1/2″ gutter widths. Newspaper articles list that plans for construction were taken out in February, 1901 and completion set for late 1904. Later articles indicate that on December 15, 1904, a party was held for the workers and families who helped build the house. A few days later, December 21, 1904, a party was held for society, plus preparing the home for the Christmas season. Believe the final plans for the home were completed on January 18, 1903. Located at 300 E. Lawrence.
BEKEMEYER’S SALOON & BOWLING ALLEY:
Located at 615 E. Adams. Number of lanes unknown. This site was listed in the city directory as bowling lanes in 1892-1893, then listed as a saloon in the 1894 directory. In 1896 again listed as bowling lanes, with the lanes 79 feet from the foul line to the headpin. The lanes were 28″ in width. Bowling balls were wooden, with no finger holes. The city directory for 1898 lists the site as a saloon, which it apparently remained until the death of William Bekemeyer, on December 27, 1909.
HENRY’S LANES – SPRINGFIELD ALLEYS:
Located at 415 E. Washington. Three lanes. The owner was Chester M. Lane, and it was also known as a saloon. In the 1900 city directory it was listed as a pool parlor and bowling alley, with ownership then by William H. McGetrick. No bowling listed for this site in 1902. It was sometimes referred to as the Springfield Alleys.
Located at 627 E. Adams. Number of lanes unknown. The owner was William J. Nees, who resided in Decatur, according to the 1900 city directory. The grand opening was held on March 13, 1900. The 1902 directory lists the site as the Miller Harness Company.
Located at 325 E. Jefferson. Three lanes. The official opening date is unknown, but they had bowling league in October, 1902. On January 14, 1903 the Arion League went to a three game a week schedule With bowling on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. The six teams in the league were: Remants Crescents, Myers Brothers, Fox Hunting, Giants and Planters. In 1908 the sitewas listed as a pool hall and bowling alley, with the proprietor Richard T. Wandell. George Wiedlocher was the owner of the Arion Hall at 205 North Fourth Street, and it is unclear as to whether he had a business in the Arion Alleys. This was the only bowling establishment in 1909, and they had one league, the Arion League. It is assumed that when
Grand Alleys closed, the business Men’s League resumed at the Arion Alleys as there is a bowling league schedule dated January 3, 1910. The 1910-1911 season had the Arion Handicap league, Florists- Arion’s- Third Ward Stars- U. No’s. The Arion Alleys, from December 12, 1910 to January 1, 1911 had five dollars in gold to the person bowling the highest score, and $2.50 to the next highest. S.T. Basso was the manager for this season. In December, 1910 a new type of bolwing league was trying to be organized—it was the Arion Five Back league, which used small bowling balls and five pins. The league had five teams of three
men each. The last record of bowling leagues at this site was through March 26, 1911.
ARIONS CLUB ALLEYS:
Located at 325-327 East Jefferson with three alnes. Assume this is the former Arion Alleys. The 1915 city directory shows the owner to be Gaston L. Rousseau. He charged five cents a line for bowling. Mr. Peter Gaa succeeded Mr. Rousseau, probibly in 1916, and charged ten cents a lins, but he issued a five cent beer check with each game of bowling. The 1917 city directory shows the address as vacant.
BRUNSWICK BOWLING ALLEYS:
Located at 311-315 South Sixth Street with four brunswichcontinouis alleys of regulation length. Opened on Wednesday January 21, 1903, with an exhibition match by the Myers Brothers and Planters Teams from Arions Alleys, and the Sagamo and Franklin Life teams fron the Grand Alleys. F.S. Dodd and Baldwin Starr, owners.
Located at 322 S. Sixth. Eight lanes, four upstairs and four downstairs. John and Charles J. Maldener, owners. The first bowling matches were held on December 10, 1902. Their first bowling league was the Businees men’s league which started in January 21, 1903. There was a bowling exhibition match between Myers Brothers and Edward F. Hartman Company teams.It is believed bowling continued here until at January, 1904. The directory of 1905 lists the site as the Gaiety Theater, then as Franke the Furrier, in 1908.
Located in at 409-411 E. Jefferson. Six lanes. The lanes were located in the Freeman Building, the proprietor was Thomas W. Allen. Opened for business on Wednesday, April 1, 1903. The six lanes were furnished by a series of reflectors and numerous Welsbach gas lamps. The lighting of the alleys by gaswhile a new idea in Springfield, was used in metropolitian cities and gives much more satisfactory light than electricity. Ladies balconies were along each side and as soon as the rooms are entirely fitted up ther will be ladies parlor fronting on the street, fitted with cozy comers and settees. The first big event was the Central Illinois bowlers tournament on April 20, 1903, which resulted in the city tournament being canceled because of this larger event. Unknown how long it was open as a bowling alley, but a later directory lists the site as the Big O theater, and that this theater was destroyed by fire in 1908.
Located at 123 N. Fourth. Number of lanes unknown. W. C. Gordy listed in the 1906 city directory as having a saloon, with no bowling alley. However, it is possible, like a number of other saloons, they had one or two lanes for enjoyment, similar to today’s arcades. No mention of this establishment in the 1906 directory.
NEW LELAND ALLEYS – LELAND ALLEYS:
Located at 322 S. Sixth. Had eight new Backus pin setters and the loop the loop ball return chute. Opened in October,1910, under the guidance of Julius C. Becker. The Springfield Bowling League was their first bowling league and started on November 7, 1910. Teams were Bull Calves- Butcher Boys- Watch Factory- Cubs- Lelands and Athletics. The business Men’s League bowled here with six teams, Cresents- C.C.C. & C.- Graser & Reisch- Myers Brothers- O’Connell & Kunz – Dirksens. J.C. Becker was the manager. They remained as the New Leland Alleys through the 1913-1914 season. With the 1914 season, George Kern took over ownership and changed the name to the Leland Alleys. He operated one season here, apparently, as the 1915 city directory shows this location as vacant.
H. N. MARTIN’S:
Located at 325 E. Jefferson. Three lanes. The 1914 city directory lists H. N. Martin opening up these alleys, and may have been the old Arion Alleys, though the listing was as a Billiard Hall & Bowling Alley. This site was next door to Gaston L. Rousseau’s saloon, located at 327 E. Jefferson. 1915-16 city directory listed as a saloon & bowling alley.
110 N. 6th. Listed in 1931 city directory, but not in the 1932 edition.
A newspaper article of 1904 speaks of a new YMCA building to be built, with bowling lanes. It was scheduled to open around October 1, 1905, but have no knowledge if it ever materialized.
CAPITOL CITY BOWLING & BILLIARDS:
Located at 325 1/2 E. Adams. Six lanes. George Kern moved from the Leland Alleys to this location, starting with the 1915 bowling season. In the 1916 directory it shows an address of 321 1/2 E. Adams and listed as the Edwin Ferris Capitol City Bowling & Billiards Hall. The lanes remained in operation until the end of the 1926-27 season. Once, during a bowling exhibition by Jimmy Blouin (one of the top bowlers in the country), he bowled rather poorly and called the lanes the “sidewalks”, with the nickname sticking for a period of time.
BOX BALL ALLEY & SHOOTING GALLERY:
Located at 512 E. Jefferson. One lane. Ambrose T. Hurt opened for business in 1917. This was basically an outdoor bowling alley and shooting gallery, like a carnival type operation. Listed in the 1918 city directory, but not in 1918.
BOX BALL ALLEY:
The 1920 city directory lists Jack Williams having these lanes at 320 E. Washington.
Located in Mt. Pulaski. Not much known, except that they did have a home and home match with a Springfield team in February, 1923.
ELKS CLUB ALLEYS:
Located at 509 S. Sixth. Four lanes originally,with Backus pin setters then six lanes in 1946. Opened for business on March 13, 1924, with John Helmberger, manager. The original lanes were in the basement. In 1946 the basement lanes removed and six new lanes installed upstairs. These lanes were certified by the ABC on September 25, 1946. The bowling alley went out of business in May, 1979.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS LANES:
Located at 601 S. Sixth. Six lanes. Opened on February 1, 1925, John Gadert, manager. The first league bowling took place on September 10, 1925. During the following season, 1926-27, as league play about to begin, Springfield had a tremendous rainstorm, flooding the lanes. League activity transferred to other bowling lanes until the damage repaired. In the remodeling process, they reversed the lanes to throw the ball towards the south instead of the previous north direction. Also, alleged to be the first lanes in the city to have some sort of a foul light system. Closed on May 28, 1970, with the property demolished and replaced with a building for the Bell Telephone Company.
NEW CAPITOL CITY ALLEYS:
Located at 220 1/2 E. Monroe. Seven lanes. Opened on September 24, 1927. The lanes were certified by the ABC on October 20, 1927. Julius C. Becker was proprietor until his death in December, 1929. Ownership taken over by John Flatt, Joe and Adolph “Dusty” Segin. Bernie Stankavich assumed ownership in 1948, and operated them until their closing, June 29, 1953.
ORPHEUM RECREATION PALACE – ORPHEUM BOWLING & BILLIARDS:
Located at 126 N. Fifth. Twelve lanes located in the basement. Opened for business on August 18, 1928, with T. C. Callahan, manager. The lanes certified by the ABC on October 5, 1928. Walt Bruns was the proprietor until May, 1949, when Fred Metz assumed ownership, changing the name to the Orpheum Bowling & Billiards. League play ceased in 1963, at which time Robert McClintock operated it as open play bowling and billiards. The building was torn down in 1965, the site now housing the First of America bank drive up windows.
MASON CITY BOWL – MASON CITY BOWLING CENTER:
Located at 120 W. Chestnut. Six lanes. The lanes opened in 1939, with the lanes certified by the ABC on January 15, 1941. Operated under the Mason City Bowling Association until the 1963-64 season, when joined the GSBA. Several changes of ownership, some unknown. In 1963 Joe Mounce was the proprietor, in 1965 it was Agnes and Jack Hoelscher, 1971 it was Allen Green, 1976 it was Bill Brickell, in 1982 Greg Bannister. The lanes were sold at auction May 28, 1991, and the site demolished.
Located at 125 E. Adams. Twenty-four lanes. Opened officially on Friday, August 1, 1941. The lanes were certified by the ABC on October 13, 1941. The pinsetting machines were operated by pin boys, pressing down the pinsetting machine manually. The machines were converted to semi-automatic type later, with the pinboy pulling a rope attached to a switch. Automatic pinsetter machines installed on November 15, 1958. The lanes closed and removed, at the conclusion of the 1967-68 season. The building todays houses offices for the state of Illinois.
SILVER LEAF BOWLING ALLEY:
Located at 910 E. Washington. Number of lanes unknown. Opening date is unknown. However, the 1940 city directory listed this site as Silver Leaf Roller Rink, and in the 1940-41 directory it is listed as both a roller rink and bowling lanes. Not listed in the 1942 city directory. It was, or was to be a duckpin bowling alley.
SPRINGFIELD DUCK BOWL:
Located at 215 E. Capitol Avenue, and believe opened in 1942, as in the 1941 directory this site was listed as a Chevrolet car dealership. There were 14 lanes, and managed by Don M. Davison. Was in operation possibly thru the 1944 period, or shortly thereafter.
MOFFET’S LANES – SPUD LANES – VIRDEN RECREATION:
Fred Moffet built the three lane Moffet Lanes in 1941, on the west side of the square. Today it is the site of Hendrick’s Home Furnishings. The lanes were purchased by Murv Sartoris in 1946. He operated them at this site from October, 1946 until April, 1947. He had the Virden Recreation constructed in 1947, on Springfield Street. There were five new lanes and one lane he brought over from the old Moffet’s Lanes. Murv operated the Virden Recreation until 1959, when they were sold to Lowell Wallace in October, 1959. He resumed ownership in late 1965, and then sold them to Webb Barrington, in 1966. The lanes burned to the ground in 1975. The Virden Recreation was the first site in the area (including Springfield) to have automatic pinsetters.
AUBURN BOWLING ALLEYS:
Located at 401 1/2 W. Jefferson. Six lanes. The first league, the eight team, Auburn Merchants, started competition at 7:09 PM, just five minutes after the final installation by Grover Queen. The lanes owned by John Galloway (silent partner) – Frank Sterbenz. They were certified by the ABC on October 31, 1946. The lanes closed September 8, 1955.
Located at 1120 E. Sangamon Avenue. Eight lanes. Ground broken for the lanes on June 27, 1946, opening for business in October, 1946. The lanes certified by ABC on November 8, 1946. Charlie and Artie James were the original proprietors. Eight new lanes installed in August, 1966. The family business later was operated by Betty and Stewart James, until its destruction by fire, on Tuesday, April 24, 1984.
JIM’S LANES – MENARD BOWL – NBP BOWL – J & N LANES:
Located at 111 W. Sangamon, Petersburg. Six lanes. The lanes opened in 1950, as the Menard Bowl, by Dale Peterson. The final installation of the lanes completed on October 6, 1950, and the lanes certified by the ABC on October 6, 1950. The lanes purchased by the National Bank of Petersburg in 1984 and renamed as the NBP Bowl. The James Bauser family purchased the lanes in September,1985, renaming them the J & N Lanes. Automatic Scores were added in December of 1991. James Bauser became the proprietor with the 1993-94 season, and changed the name of the establishment. Jim’s Lanes closed in February of 2003 due to a water main break and flooded the rear of the building damaging the pinsetting equipment.
Located at 1518 E. Stanford. Twelve lanes. The official opening took place on Saturday, September 16, 1953. Several lanes of the New Capitol City Alleys were brought over to the Parkview Lanes. Certification by the ABC was on September 29, 1953. Bernie Stankavich and his family were the owners. In 1977 the lanes had a fire, with the bowling lanes closing down on September 6, 1977.
AUBURN JUNCTION BOWL:
Located on Routes 4 & 104, Auburn. Six lanes. The installation completed on August 28, 1955. The lanes were certified by the ABC on September 21, 1955. Andrew Michalich and Frank Bertoux were the proprietors. The center was sold to Jim Branthaven and Fred Paisley. Fred Paisley and Dick Matson owned till closed. Closed down as a bowling alley on September 6, 1977. Operated as a restaurant for a period of time, and now houses a different type of business.
Located on Lincoln Street, Pleasant Plains. Six lanes. The installation completed in August, 1956. Certified by the ABC on September 5, 1956. Operated originally as a community co-op until purchased by Karen and Robert Lockeby in 1964. The building was destroyed by fire, April 20, 1988.
Located at 101 Springfield Avenue, Auburn. Four lanes. Installation completed in September, 1956. Lanes were certified by the ABC on September 27, 1956. Bill and Helen Bartolo were the owners. Don Deheve were Chuck Spoor also owners at one time. The lanes closed on August 16, 1973.
ABE LINCOLN BOWL:
Located in Athens. Six lanes. Installation completed July 22, 1957, with open play bowling on August 17, 1957. Managers have been William Basso, Alfred “Ike” Mason and Max Hendickson. Eldon Ethel was the leasee in 1966. Jim Branthaver assumed control in 1971, then Kenneth Freer in 1972, then again in 1972 the control was to Dale Farmer, then in 1973 it was Donald Feagans. In 1976 the business purchased by Tri-Rollers, Inc., of Canton, IL. In 1982 Bob and Connie Tavender assumed ownership. In 1984 the business was purchased by Gayle Manning and Joyce Kaehler, then sold in 1990 to Tamara and Bill Baptist. At the
end of the 1996-97 season the center was closed. The building was sold and at this time is still there.
TOPPER LANES – HILLTOP BOWL – MT. PULASKI BOWL:
Located on LaFayette Street, Mt. Pulaski. Ten lanes. Installation completed on July 28, 1958. Lanes were certified by the ABC on August 28, 1958. The original name was the Hilltop Bowl, then changed to the Mt. Pulaski Bowl, then to Topper Lanes. Originally associated with the Lincoln Bowling Association, then became part of the GSBA on July 31, 1962. Managers have been Irvin Rowland, James R. Jackson, Harry E. Manes, Bert Fraim, Franklin Payne. Jerry Fairbanks purchased the lanes in 1975, then sold to Bill McKinley. In 1983 Don Crisup assumed ownership. In 1994-95 season, leased lanes to Duane Cook. Topper Lanes was closed in March of 1998.
AMF LAKETOWN LANES – AMF STRIKE N SPARE EAST LANES- STRIKE N SPARE:
Located at 3220 Stanton Avenue. Thirty-two lanes originally. Opened in October, 1958, and certified by the ABC on October 20, 1958. Twelve lanes were added in August, 1961. Original name of Strike N Spare Lanes changed to Strike n Spare East Lanes when a sister establishment built. The Lubin family were the proprietors until sold to the BCA, in 1986. Automatic scoring machines installed in 1985. In November of 1996 BCA sold the center to AMF. After the purchase by AMF in 1997. The name was changed to Laketown Lanes. The center added HPL lane panels in 2003.
ILLIOPOLIS BOWL – PRAIRIE LANES – ROESE BOWL:
Located on Route 36, Illiopolis. Ten lanes. Installation completed August 12, 1959. Certified by the ABC on October 20, 1959. Original name was Illiopolis Bowl, then Prairie Lanes, then Roese Bowl. Was originally associated with the Decatur Bowling Association, but changed to the GBSA in 1973. Closed in 1986.
Located on North Third Street, Girard. Opened for business, August, 1959, Paul Cowdrey, proprietor. Purchased by Herschel and Leda Pitchford in 1962. Purchased by Jim and Gloria Pitchford in 1974. Purchased by Bruce Pitchford in 1987. Originally associated with the Girard – Virden Bowling Association, but joined with the GBSA in August, 1982. Purchased by Keith Ruiter, in June, 1993.
WEST SANGAMON BOWL:
Located in Loami. Six lanes. Installation completed on September 18, 1959. Operated as a co-op for a number of years. Certified by the ABC on October 16, 1959. Closed at the end of the 1978-79 season.
CHAPIN COUNTRY LANES – ROCHESTER LANES- G & K LANES – SOUP-R-BOWL:
Located on Route 29, Rochester. Eight lanes. Installation completed August, 1960. The lanes certified by the ABC on October 10, 1960. Opened as the Rochester Lanes, as a co-op. When Greg and Kay Myers purchased the business they changed it to the G & K Lanes. Changed to the Sour-R-Bowl when purchased by the Rosa & Thomas families. Closed during the summer of 1986. Reopened when purchased by Dennis and Marsha Chapin. it was then named the Chapin Country Lanes. The lanes closed and were removed in August, 1991. The building remains today and houses another business.
KING PIN LANES:
Located at 3115 Sangamon Avenue. There were twenty-four lanes originally, with twelve lanes added in 1968. The installation of the 24 lanes completed in September, 1960, with grand opening ceremonies held on November 5, 1960. ABC certified the lanes on October 20, 1960. This was a partnership operation, headed primarily by Leno Petrilli, until his death. Jack Rabbit was the primary operations leader until his death. Was the first lanes in the area to install automatic scoring machines, the AMF Magicscore, in 1976. Jim Esslinger then took over as CEO. King Pin Lanes was sold to Joe Bart and John Benanti in March of 1998. John Benanti became the sole owner in the 2000 season. King Pin Lanes added new HPL panels to the lanes in 2005. King Pin Lanes added new state of the art scoring system in December of 2006.
SPILLWAY LANES – TOWN & COUNTRY LANES – SPILLWAY SOUTH:
Located at 1025 Outer Park Drive. Thirty-six lanes. Installation completed, September, 1961. ABC certified on October 3, 1961. Ownership was with the A & L Corporation, Chicago. The original name was the Town & Country Lanes, with the manager Robert Spratt. Later managers were Larry Koenig and Paul Cerniglia. The lanes purchased by the Stewart James family in November, 1985. They did some extensive remodeling, including the installation of automatic scoring machines. Spillway Lanes closed its doors in June of 2007.
CHATHAM LANES – CHATHAM BOWL:
Located at 201 South Grand Avenue, Chatham. Eight lanes. Installation completed in March, 1964. ABC certified on April 6, 1964. Originally named the Chatham Lanes, then changed to Chatham Bowl. Several ownership’s over the years, with the last owners the Bob Wells family, who purchased in the lanes at an auction in April, 1986. The lanes removed after completion of the 1987-88 season, and now houses a hardware store.
Located at 12470 W. Hard Rd, Carlinville. Built in 1961 by Norman Paul. Opened December 26, 1961. Mr. Paul operated the fourteen lane center until July of 2010. Mr. Darrell Bellm purchased and remodeled the center. All new AMF pinsetters were installed along with AMF hpl lane surface and Qubica Accu vision scorers. This delayed the winter season for a few weeks that year. The Carlinville association and bowlers joined the GSBA in the summer of 2010.
AMF STRIKE & SPARE – AMF STRIKE N SPARE WEST LANES:
Located at 2660 W. Lawrence Avenue. Thirty-six lanes. Opened for business in September, 1977. Lanes were certified by the ABC on September 20, 1977. The architect for this building was Carl Fischer, son of Elmer C. Fischer, previous GBSA secretary. The Lubin family were the proprietors until sold to the BCC in 1986. Brunswick automatic scoring machines installed during the 1991-92 season. In November of 1996 BCC sold the center to AMF. After AMF purchased the center in 1997. The name was changed to Strike & Spare. The center added HPL lane panels in 2006. The center added new qubica scorers in April of 2011.
SHOWTIME LANES – SAMARGE LANES:
Located at 1515 N. Springfield Street, Virden. Twelve lanes. Opened for business on October 22, 1982, with Sam and Marge Osborne the original proprietors. Lanes were certified by the ABC on November 2, 1982. Bob Odle assumed ownership in 1989. Joe Carter and Bill Pickford, Jr., assumed ownership in 1994 and changed the name to Showtime Lanes.
Located at 251 North Pearl Street, Waverly. This bowling center was originally open as a movie theater in the late 1800’s. It was converted to a bowling center in1963 by a group of towns people that ran it until it was sold in1969. Jack Zuloff purchased it in 1969 and ran it until1991. In1991 Dale Manning purchased the center and operated it until he sold it in October of1997 to Brian Venrick. Brian is the current owner. The Waverly Bowl was a member of the Jacksonville Association. The center withdrew from Jacksonville Association in May of 2001 and became a member of the GSBA at that time. The Waverly Bowl closed in 2007 due to structural building damage from the ice storm.
THE OLDE BOWL:
Located at 300 S. Spresser, Taylorville. This bowling center was opened in 1952 by Dom Cumalotto and Nick Frasero. They sold the center to Grant-Hopper in 1973and operated it until the sale to Don Wells in 1975. New automated scores were added in 1986 and the scores were upgraded in 2003. This center joined the GSBA in 2004.
NEW NORTH LANES:
Located at 820 N. Webster, Taylorville. This center was opened in 1962.
Most currently owned and operated by Bryan Hill. The center joined the GSBA in 2004. North Lanes was sold to Floyd Short in the summer of 2007. The name was changed to Short Stop Lanes. The center closed May 1, 2011.
AUBURN DUCK PIN ALLEYS:
Located at 109 4TH ST. Opened 1900 burned down in 1910. OWNER UNKNOWN.
THE DUCK PIN BOWLING ALLEYS:
Located at 4th and Madison in Auburn. Owners Emil (Dutch) Leonard (major league pitcher) and
Maggee Smarjessie in the 1930’s.