Follow your guide to a church basement bowling alley in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s the St. Francis Bowling Center, where players are asked to “be courteous and respectful to other players by using appropriate, Christian behavior.”
Once common across the Midwest and parts of the Northeast, there are less than 200 church bowling lanes left in America today. German immigrants started building these holy alleys in the 1860s as meeting places and moral refuges for wholesome, after quitting time get togethers (i.e. to keep family breadwinners from blowing their paychecks at the bar).
Most started closing down in the 1980s and 90s. Though, you’ll be glad to know, some of the church lanes that are left now sell beer.
This is one of those times you say to yourself: “Only in America.”
Photo Credit: Katie Howie and Marianne McNamara