In 1930, C. W. Chambers, ranconteur, says that thirty years before that there was an attempt to have a bowling alley -- possibly there was indeed a bowling alley, since he says, "I'd a sure stopped it if I could." He ends up admitting that he didn't stop it because the intended proprietor rented a house from his wife's folks, who were in great need of money. Where this particular bowling alley may have been -- if there was one -- is lost to time.
bowling in the hnzida building (north side of the opera house)
The Drugstore Coffee Club recalls that it was "duckpin" bowling (smaller scale than regular) and that the proprietor was Delmar McClarnen. McClarnen also had a popular roller skating rink in the building in the 1940s, but someone needs to ask the Coffee Club whether it was before or after bowling.
bowling in the basement
In 1959, a group of five men decided that the town needed a bowling alley. Where to put it? In the basement of what was then called the Sochor building (it was owned by Frank Sochor) was the Table Rock Argus office, proprietor Rudy Senft. (This is the building currently occupied by the Argus Museum.) Floyd Vrtiska, one of the five men, recalls, "We approached Rudy and asked if he would mind moving the office to the ground floor, because we wanted to put a bowling alley where he was." We figured we could build on to the back of the building to make room for the lanes. "Rudy said no problem, if we would move the presses." The presses are huge, especially the main press. "So we did." Joe Sochor, who helped, was asked how they managed such a gargantuan task. He responded in an offhand manner, "Oh, we just got a bunch of men, some block and tackle and such, and did it." With the back of the basement open in order to build the small addition, they could get the presses out easily enough. They apparently took out the front windows of the first floor to get the presses in, then bricked them up in part. They had bought two bowling lanes from the Knights of Columbus building in Steinauer which they installed. The pins were set by hand.