News: Spencer History – Bowling Alleys


Surnames: Orgish, Walterbach, Dickman. Gorst, Brandt, Wenzel

Source: Spencer Centennial Book (1874 – 1974)

John Orgish and Harold Walterbach erected a building in 1945 on the south side of Clark Street, west of the Graves Mercantile Building. This building was Spencer's first Bowling Alley. Orgish and Walterbach operated four lanes and were open six nights a week with league bowling four nights. They were closed on Friday nights. Refreshments available included soft drinks, packaged nuts, and candy bars. The bowling business was discontinued in 1955 and the building was vacant for some time.

By 1957 Ed Dickman, who had purchased the building earlier, was busy getting the facilities ready for the first manufacturing for Spencer Sports Products. In November of 1958 ihe building and its contents were completely destroyed by fire.

By early 1960's Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Gorst began construction of a building north of town on Highway 13 for developing a bowling alley. This operation was interrupted and the site was not completed until 1963 when the Brandt Brothers purchased the property. They finished the building and operated Spencer Bowl until 1971. The business had eight bowling alleys and two pool tables and also operated a bar and hamburger grill for their customers. League Bowling became a major element of Spencer recreation.

In 1971 Robert and Charles Wenzel leased the building and the business. Since that time they have purchased the building and the business. They, along with their mother, Mrs. Lil Wenzel, continue to operate the establishment. They have expanded the food service with sandwiches and pizza and added football, pinball machines, and other games for the young people who gather there to be with their friends.



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