BCAW’s POPULAR WI VINTAGE ALLEYS TOUR

Longing for ‘good ol’ days’ of bowling?  Do you wish for wooden lanes, human pinsetters, scorekeeping with a pencil?  Or do you just love bowling history?  Wisconsin has a proud heritage of bowling.  Take a break from all the modern gadgets and gizmos, and come explore & bowl in some of bowling’s historic landmarks.

Spring 2024 TOUR INFO (sold out 2/4/24)

Photo by Falcon Club, with permission

 

SOLD OUT!  If you would like to get on the waiting list in case we have a cancellation, please email Yvonne Bennett at the BCAW office (info@bowlwi.com).

We are excited to announce our next tour will be held on Saturday, April 13th in the Milwaukee Area!  Back by popular demand will be Holler House, the oldest USBC certified bowling alley in the USA.  We will also be visiting the 1950’s 4-lane facility located at Shorewood High School.  Rounding out our day will be Falcon Club, which is under new ownership.  Space will be limited on his tour in order to make the best bowling experience for everyone at the 2-lane Holler House, where human pinsetters still do the heavy lifting for bowlers.

BCAW hosted the first ever tour of vintage bowling alleys on October 31, 2017.  The event was a big success in terms of providing opportunities for four of our members to showcase their business.  The idea for them really grew out of what was seen as a national interest in Kevin Hong’s Vintage Alleys Project, primarily on Facebook.  His work was so inspiring; we wanted to bring awareness to all of the vintage era bowling alleys we have here in Wisconsin, we believe the most in the country!

A few of our vintage centers date back to the 20’s, but mostly they are from the 30’s to 50’s.  Often their back story is the building was once a hotel or a bar/tavern.  The German heritage in Wisconsin is present with our beer and bowling, so it’s no surprise the two went together as these places cropped up.  Some older vintage era fraternal clubs like the Elks, have bowling lanes.

Our tour history has been:

  • October 2017 – Area west of Milwaukee
  • April 2018 – Generally around Madison
  • October 2018 – Fox Cities area
  • April 2019 – Green Bay/Door County
  • October 2019 – La Crosse area
  • April 2020 – Milwaukee (cancelled due to COVID)
  • April 2022 – Milwaukee
  • April 2023 – Fond du Lac area
  • October 2023 – Madison area
  • April 2024 – Milwaukee area

There is a core of people who participated in most of our tours, with others picking up based on their scheduling.  States represented on our tours have been Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Virginia & of course Wisconsin.

Bowlers are more than excited to see these unique places and to bowl in them.  BCAW proprietors have all said how much they appreciate the recognition, whether locally in the hometown paper or in the national bowling publications.  It has been overwhelming successful and positive on all fronts.

Going on a family vacation or perhaps a work trip and want to check out some old bowling alleys?  Need to feed your bowling geekiness?  Check out the Wisconsin (BCAW Members) Vintage Bowling Alleys DIY Tour Map.  Currently, 30 BCAW member centers are listed.

Click HERE for TV news coverage of the Fall 2019 tour.

Our first tour created quite the buzz.  Check out some of the media coverage from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well as front page coverage in the Sunday (11/5/17) Wisconsin State Journal and La Crosse Tribune to include their online versions.

2024 Spring Tour

2023 Fall Tour

2023 Spring Tour

2022 Spring Tour

2019 Fall Tour

2019 Spring Tour

2018 Fall Tour

2018 Spring Tour

2017 Fall Tour