Odebowl Lanes - bowling alley in Odebolt, Iowa

Odebolt History Pages

A Short History of Odebowl Lanes

Odebowl Lanes, Inc., was organized in late September 1958 with the purpose of constructing a bowling alley in Odebolt.  The businessmen elected as officers were:.  Nate Skalovsky, President, F. W. Mattes, Vice President and Dr. F. W. Worth, Secretary-Treasurer.  Serving on the board of directors were Kenneth Ahrenholtz, Ray Searls, Dick Ritzman of Lake View, Willard Johnson, and Faye McGonigle.  

Work on the grounds started September 30, 1958.  Ronald W. Graetz was hired as the manager and attended A.M.F. school in January 1959 to learn how to maintain the automatic pinsetters.  His wife was employed as hostess of the snack bar.  Construction progress was extensively reported in the newspaper and much was made of the modern equipment, lighting and air-conditioning.  Citizens eagerly waited for the bowling alley to open. 

The Odebolt Chronicle, Feb 5, 1959 - Odebowl Lanes are Nearing Completion
    The opening day for Odebowl Lanes is fast approaching according to an announcement from the management. Twenty to 25 men are employed daily completing the installation of equipment.
     The new bowling alley will open within a few weeks. Odebowl Lanes will be one of the finest of its kind in this section of the state. It has eight lanes with A.M.F. automatic pinspotters to bring you bowling at its best. The latest equipment is being installed in the Snack Bar. It will have a stainless steel grill, stainless steel refrigerator and formica top counters.
     The building will be properly heated and air-conditioned. No money is being spared in making this recreation spot one of the finest in the state, one of which Odebolt will be proud.

The approach and first 16 ft. of the alley was constructed of one-inch maple board. The center run of the alley consisted of 28 ft. of yellow pine which blended in with the three-foot pin deck constructed of maple.  Precise work was done on each alley in order to meet American Bowling Congress qualifications. 

Men's, women's, mixed, teenage and junior (age 9 to 15) bowling leagues were organized in February, 1959 with special discounts given for teenage and junior league bowlers.  They received free shoe rental and a special price of 31 cents per line.  Free lessons were provided for the junior league by the following   instructors: Mrs. Mary Worth, F.W. Mattes, Donald Einspahr, Gustaf Noyd and Larry Trudeau.  The Teenage League officers were:  Bob Rex, President; Bill Stock, Vice President; Karen Noyd, Secretary.  League bowling began March 16, 1959.  Frank Mattes was on hand every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m. to give beginner lessons and pointers.  Adult leagues included Red, Blue and Classic (older adults) as well as Church Leagues.

Special days & times were set aside for area towns to come in and bowl:  Monday - Odebolt 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday - Schaller and Early - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday - Lake View - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday - Wall Lake - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday - Kiron and Arthur - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Large ads soon appeared in The Odebolt Chronicle announcing the Grand Opening on April 5, 1959, featuring a celebrity bowler who would give demonstrations.

The Odebolt Chronicle, Thursday, April 2, 1959 - Odebowl Lanes to Feature Carmen Salvino Sunday
     Odebowl Lanes will hold their grand opening on Sunday, April 5 starting at 12 noon. Professional bowlers will be on hand to give pointers. Bowling balls will be sold and guaranteed to fit.
     Carmen Salvino, a member of the Bowling Promotion Staff of American Machine and Foundry Company, is one of the sport's outstanding young stars.  The 6'2" kegler was a high school sensation averaging 203 in league play at the age of 16.  A native of Chicago, Carmen was elected "King of Chicago Bowling" during the 1956-57 season. Illinois State All-Events champion in 1956, he claimed the Chicago individual Match Game Crown in 1953 and again in 1956......

Since its beginning, Odebowl Lanes has had a number of owners and managers.  The Odebolt Centennial book states that in 1977 the owners were Mr. and Mrs. Elton Weidner, who purchased and took possession of the business January 1, 1974 from the remaining stockholders of Odebowl Lanes, Inc., Richard Ritzman and Mr. and Mrs. Ike McGonigle.  Over the years, Odebowl Lanes has served our community well and provided many hours of recreation for generations of bowlers.

Other names for Odebowl Lanes have been "The Alumni Club", "Herby's Bar & Grill as operated by Gary Schroeder, and in 2007 it is CoBe's Bar & Grill, operated by Jason & Katie Dejean.

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