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Photo of the Week, 123: Burkey’s Bowling Palace, Grand Opening, Aug.16-17, 1941

Joseph E. Burkey and his wife Leila opened their six-lane bowling “palace” in mid-August 1941, at 211 E. Front St. The business also included a lunch counter in front (see image below). Grand opening festivities included appearances by two top-tier professional bowlers, Adolph Carlson and Paul Krumske. The Burkeys later added two more lanes.

In 1947 Joseph Burkey retired due to poor health and the cozy bowling alley became McCarty’s, run by brothers Joseph and James. From the early 1950s to the 1970s, the place was known as Savidge Bros. Bowling Lanes, named for Earl Carl and brother Willis. The building has since been torn down.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

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