A few months back there was a Village14 post about the closing of Swartz’s Hardware in Nonantum. In the comments, Bruce Henderson mentioned that there was a small bowling alley in the basement of Swartz’s. From there the comments quickly filled up with reports of six different old bowling alleys around Newton – everything from the beautiful working candlepin lanes in the Windsor Club in Waban to the last remains of an alley in the basement of The Biltmore in Upper Falls.
This past Sunday, Kara Robbins, Steve Siegel and I and a friend and lifelong bowler Scott Wilson took a look at the old lanes above the gymnasium in the mid 1800’s era Allen House in West Newton (above). This single antique lane is a fabulous find.
We’ve begun hatching a plan for an event called the Back Alleys of Newton. It will be a celebration and exploration of the hidden bowling alleys of Newton. We’ve also recruited V14 regular and alley cat Terry Malloy to the team. Mr Malloy is a welcome addition since he knows more about bowling alley equipment than any one in the city, and the man loves a good party.
At this point details are still sketchy and will start to be filled in over the coming weeks. Before winters out, you’ll all be invited to join us to throw a few balls and hoist a few brews in the Back Alleys of Newton.