This Building in St. Joseph County Has A Bowling Alley
I am a sports guy by trade. While I am a strong supporter of all sports national, collegiately and at the local level, there is one sport that will always tug at my heart strings. It's the sport that I grew up enjoying before I was introduced to other sports.
That sport is bowling. I started in juniors at 10 and continue to roll to this day. Over the years, I have wanted to bowl at as many places in possible. While the number of places escape me, I have five states that I knocked the pins down.
Another thing has gone by are the number of bowling centers that gone to either companies building stores on top of them (Sunset Lanes in Portage), a housing development (Wayside Lanes in Kalamazoo), new businesses (Plainwell Lanes and Lakeshore Lanes in Vicksburg), weather mishaps (Lariat Lanes in Bangor) or repurposed for entertainment venues (too many to list).
After Rainbow Lanes in Paw Paw went up for sale in the summer of 2020, it got me thinking about another Southwest Michigan center that I not only didn't bowl at, but its current status. I was disappointed to see that it, too, was up for sale.
That center is White Pigeon Bowl in White Pigeon. The small village near the Michigan-Indiana line had a bowling center that was unique in that there were just six lanes. It didn't have a sign out front along a busy US-12. The building from the outside looked just like a storage facility. To be honest, I had passed it several times and blinked. At the time it was open it was tied for the smallest public bowling center in Michigan, matching the size of Carson City Lanes in Carson City, Melody Lanes in Deckerville and Whirl-I-Gig Bowl in L'Anse.
In recent years White Pigeon Bowl saw some updates, including the new synthetic lane surfaces and approaches. The roof is also new. It also has some classic touches with the original above-lane ball returns and manual scoring tables. The center was opened in 1955 and closed the summer of 2019, after opening for just special occasions during the 2018-2019 bowling season.
Mark Brorson of ReMax Elite Group in Sturgis provides a great look inside the shuttered center that still has a great look while being up for sale since June of 2019.
White Pigeon Bowl in White Pigeon, MI
While the building can be repurposed, it would still be great to keep it a bowling center, providing another option for Northern Indiana bowlers and those in the region that have opted to bowl at nearby Sturgis Bowl and South Lanes in Three Rivers, the only two remaining bowling centers in St. Joseph County (preceded by Mixing Bowl in Mendon). For $99,900, it would be a diamond in the rough.