|Location||2042 W. Lincoln Ave. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
Holler House is a tavern that houses the oldest certified bowling alley in the United States. Holler House contains the two oldest sanctioned lanes in the nation, both of which are still tended by pinsetters.
Holler House was opened in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1908. The 100th anniversary party was held on Saturday, September 14, 2008. Esquire has rated Holler House one of the best bars in America.
Holler House was founded on September 13, 1908, by "Iron Mike" Skoronski as Skowronski's. His son, Gene, married Marcy in 1952 and they renamed it Gene and Marcy's. Gene died, but Marcy Skowronski still runs the tavern. About 1975, it was christened "Holler House" by a German woman who could not believe the noise that was coming from inside.
Starting in the mid-twentieth century, Holler House began a tradition that has since accumulated nearly 1,000 bras. This tradition started when the owner Marcy Skowronski was drinking with her friends, after which they started taking their clothes off. This has now grown into a tradition in which women autograph and hang their bras from various fixtures in the tavern on their first visit. When the bras started fraying, Skowronski boxed up most of them to make room for new ones to be displayed.
In preparation for its 100th anniversary, Holler House received its first thorough cleaning in 40 years. During this cleaning, five two-hole 15-pound wooden bowling balls were found.
Same appearance as one century ago
Holler House still looks much the same as it did a century ago. The lanes are made of real wood that was laid over a century ago, not the synthetic wood found in modern bowling alleys. It still has a manual pin mechanism that pin boys reload by hand by rolling the bowling balls down a track between the two lanes. Scores from bowling games are documented from paper hanging on the wall.
Memorabilia and the beer sold
Memorabilia dating back to as early as 1912 is displayed. Prices in the early days were 25 cents for a hot beef sandwich and 25 cents plus deposit for a half-gallon of beer. During Prohibition, liquor was stored under a baby's crib on the assumption the police would not look there. There are no chairs in the bowling. Reflecting the ethnic background of the neighborhood, there are Polish falcon crests above the bowling lanes.
Notable bowlers and visitors
- Earl Anthony, a professional bowler, who amassed a total of 43 titles on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour
- Joe Walsh, an American guitarist
- Traci Lords, an American film actress
- Frank Deford, a Sports Illustrated author
- Larry the Cable Guy, comedian
- Cigelske, Tim (2006-06-15). "Marcy Skowronski of Holler House". Bartender of the Week. MKonline. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Oldest Bowling Alley in America Turns 100". via Associated Press. FoxNews. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Milwaukee bowling alley, oldest in US, turns 100". WAOW. 2008-08-13. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Feldman (2004), p. 152.
- Bie (2002), p. 79.
- Ramde, Dinesh (2008-09-14). "Milwaukee gives a holler to favorite bowling alley". WJLA News. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Holler House". The Best Bars in America. Esquire. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- Gamble, Molly (2008-09-04). "Oldest bowling alley in nation turns 100". The Marquette Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-14.[dead link]
- McClelland, Edward (2006). "Milwaukee's Best". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- McClelland (2008), p. 28.
- Back, Brian (2008-08-21). "Brew City's treasures just waiting to be tapped". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Crowley, Jeff (2007-09-30). "Bowling for ages at Holler House". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Ramde, Dinesh. "Milwaukee gives a holler to favorite bowling alley". Retrieved 2008-09-14.[dead link]
- Tarnoff, Andy (2006-07-11). "Unique bar guide: Part III". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- McClelland (2008), p. 29.
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