Detroit, Michigan, is where you'll find the oldest commercial bowling alley in the United States.

What is the Oldest Bowling Alley in Michigan?

The oldest bowling alley in Michigan is Garden Bowl located on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

WDIV YouTube
WDIV YouTube

When Was the Official Opening Date of Garden Bowl?

Garden Bowl opened its doors on August 1st, 1913, but during that period, it operated under the name Garden Bowling Alley.

John Bauer and Irv Giese were the founders of Garden Bowl. During that time, the first floor featured only 10 lanes, while the second floor housed a billiards room and a grandstand suitable for hosting prestigious pool tournaments.

See Also: Michigan is Now Home to the First Charging Road in America

Before automated pin-setting machines became common in bowling alleys, pinsetters, typically young boys or men, manually reset pins and returned balls. These pin boys lived in flophouses along Michigan Avenue's skid row. To set the pins, they used pegs in the center pin spots activated by a foot switch. This manual process required precision and quick reflexes to swiftly reset the pins after each roll. Despite its labor-intensive nature, this hands-on pin-setting added a unique human touch to the bowling experience in those days.

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Al Zainea bought the historic bowling alley in 1946 after hearing that the building was in foreclosure. The alley is still owned and operated by the Zainea family today.

While the Garden Bowl is still very old school, much of the bowling alley certainly looks different today compared to 1913.

Garden Bowl Facebook
Garden Bowl Facebook

Garden Bowl Hours of Operation:

Sunday – Monday:
11 am –Midnight

Tuesday – Saturday:
11 am – 2 am
Garden Bowl is located at 4120 Woodward Avenue.

Abandoned 1949 Mammoth Department Store in Detroit

Built in 1949, the Mammoth building started as the Federal Department Store, a vital part of the community. Over the years, different owners like Kingsway Department Stores and Mammoth Department Store shaped its history.

The doors officially closed in 2001 and it's been empty ever since.

Gallery Credit: Detroit Unseen

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Gallery Credit: TSM Lab

Historic Michigan Church Converted to Stunning Home

Built in 1831, this historic church in Leonidas, Michigan is now a stunning home that recently hit the market for $290K. It's truly a one-of-a-kind home.

Step in and explore this former church—now a home.

Gallery Credit: Hayley Davidson, Bellabay Realty, LLC

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