Michigan’s Old Bowling Alleys: 1908-1962
So between bowling and euchre, which is more popular in Michigan?
That's not only a tough call, but it's a moot point...because this article is about Michigan bowling. So, before we get to the gallery below with many vintage photos of Michigan bowling alleys, let's find out just how nutso Michiganders are about bowling.
Thanks to Mlive, here are some interesting facts about Michigan bowling:
First, we have the oldest, still operating bowling alley in the country: the Garden Bowl in Detroit that began in 1913.
Second, Michigan has the BIGGEST bowling alley in the country: Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park has NINETY lanes.
Third, we have approximately only 300 bowling alleys in the state, but we still rank high in the top bowling states.
Fourth, we are home to the “Bowling Capitol of the World” which happens to be Detroit. The city has 80 alleys and over 50,000 leaguers.
Fifth, Michigan has the largest high school bowling program in the country, with over 5,000 student participants.
The sport even crossed over into popular music when the Red Hot Chili Peppers mentioned Michigan bowling in their song “Especially in Michigan”. Bowling alleys have come along way since the days when there were two, maybe three lanes in an alley, and pinboys had to keep setting up the pins. Now there are arcade rooms, bars, restaurants, party rooms, music piped throughout, virtual gaming, live bands.....even dancing in selected Michigan alleys.
Over the decades, we were bombarded with all kinds of TV bowling shows:
“Beat The Champ”
“Bowling For Dollars”
“Championship Bowling” and others.
The gallery below shows over thirty Michigan bowling alleys and scenes, that date from the early 1900s thru 1962.
Michigan's Vintage Bowling Alleys: 1908-1962
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