The city of Louisville certainly has its historical landmarks, but an oft overlooked what is Vernon lanes, the oldest bowling alley in town and the third oldest in the country.
With its long and storied history in town the alley certainly has become a Sports legend of the ‘Ville.
With a giant pig statue welcoming in bowlers, the alley has become a landmark in Butchertown through the years.
The alley was so famed in the commonwealth in fact that in 1918 governor James D. Black held his inauguration at the alley. More than that, in 1946 Governor Earle C. Clements followed Black’s lead by holding his inauguration at the same spot.
As for the alley by 1918 it was already well established as a venue nearly forty years old at the time, dating back to the 1880’s.
Today, the alley is still alive and active hosting events like the Lebowski Fest, concerts, and of course bowling the venue still stands as a testament to what a nurtured small business can become. And, at its core that’s what Vernon Lanes has always been a small business that through hard work and dedication has become a landmark in not just the city but the commonwealth as a whole, at the end of the days the lanes have been “keeping Louisville weird” long before it became a trendy slogan.
Boasting a fully stocked bourbon bar with over 178 varieties the alley has certainly maintained its Kentucky identity, being a part of the Kentucky bourbon trail as well as the Urban Bourbon Trail.
The alley always harkens back to its humble beginnings though, a simple bowling alley housed in a small building where building bonds is the key. Now, the alley’s obviously grown substantially since then but it’s never lost sense of that spirit; and that spirit is so uniquely Louisville that it is without question a Sports legend of the ‘Ville.
Outside Sources: Vernon Lanes, KET, Bowling 2 U Image Courtesy of Vernon Club
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