According to Wiki, “the earliest known forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt,[5] with wall drawings depicting bowling being found in a royal Egyptian tomb dated to 5200 BC and miniature pins and balls in an Egyptian child's grave about 5200 BC.”

Well, that’s just a few years before my time, but I’ve been enjoying bowling for decades. The older I get, the harder it is. Score me for gutter balls and I might win a game someday.

Bowling is more than a place to roll a ball down an alley and knock down hunks of wood. It was one of our rites of passages as kids and teenagers. Countless first dates happened at bowling alleys. It was an easy place to go if you didn’t have a driver’s license, and double dates ended up at bowling alleys many times. Many first-kisses happened out in the parking lot of a bowling alley.

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Bowling alleys are also a place to go tip a few beers, watch sports, hang out in the game room, grab some fast food, and be with friends. Class reunions and office parties are held in the backrooms of bowling alleys. Yep – these are more than the alleys of yesterday, when it seemed they were just places that smelled like stale beer and filterless Camels with a bunch of overweight unshaven guys in tanktops and beer bellies.

Michigan’s love affair with bowling still continues with people of all ages – from pre-schoolers to centenarians. The scoring may be all electronic and digital these days, but we have fun anyway. I prefer the old way of writing down scores…plus, you can’t cheat by rolling extra balls for practice…those darn automatic scorers log EVERYTHING you throw down.

With all that said, take a look at some of Michigan’s old bowling alleys in the gallery below!

Vintage Michigan Bowling Alleys


Abandoned Bowling Alley, Detroit

Hot Air Ballooning, Early 1900s

Michigan Woman Was the First Person to Survive Niagara Falls in a Barrel

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