Holler House

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Holler House
Holler House 0056.jpg
SportTen-pin bowling
Location2042 W. Lincoln Ave. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
ChairmanMarcy Skowronski
United States

Holler House is a tavern that houses the oldest sanctioned tenpin bowling alley in the United States.[1] [2][3][4] Holler House contains the two oldest sanctioned lanes in the nation,[5] both of which are still tended by human pinsetters.[6]

Holler House was opened in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1908.[3] The 100th anniversary party was held on Saturday, September 14, 2008.[7] Esquire has rated Holler House one of the best bars in America.[8]


Holler House was founded on September 13, 1908, by "Iron Mike" Skoronski as Skowronski's.[9][10][11] His son, Gene, married Marcy in 1952 and they renamed it Gene and Marcy's. Gene died, but Marcy Skowronski still runs the tavern.[12] About 1975, it was called "Holler House" by a German woman who could not believe the noise that was coming from inside.[11]


Pinboys at Holler House bowling alley

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.[5] 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.[13] When the bras started fraying, Skowronski boxed up most of them to make room for new ones to be displayed.[14]

100th anniversary[edit]

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.[3]

Same appearance as one century ago[edit]

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.[3] It still has a manual pin-spotting mechanism on each lane, that pin boys return the bowlers' balls by rolling them down a traditional "overlane" return-track between the two lanes.[3] Scores from bowling games are documented from paper hanging on the wall.[3]

Memorabilia and the beer sold[edit]

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.[3] Reflecting the ethnic background of the neighborhood, there are Polish eagle crests above the bowling lanes.[15]

Holler House sells only bottled beer, with the exception of Schlitz in a can. There is nothing on tap.[2]

Notable bowlers and visitors[edit]


  1. ^ National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The Holler House in Milwaukee".
  2. ^ a b Cigelske, Tim (2006-06-15). "Marcy Skowronski of Holler House". Bartender of the Week. MKonline. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Oldest Bowling Alley in America Turns 100". via Associated Press. FoxNews. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  4. ^ "Milwaukee bowling alley, oldest in US, turns 100". WAOW. 2008-08-13. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  5. ^ a b Feldman (2004), p. 152.
  6. ^ Bie (2002), p. 79.
  7. ^ Ramde, Dinesh (2008-09-14). "Milwaukee gives a holler to favorite bowling alley". WJLA News. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  8. ^ "Holler House". The Best Bars in America. Esquire. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  9. ^ Gamble, Molly (2008-09-04). "Oldest bowling alley in nation turns 100". The Marquette Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  10. ^ McClelland, Edward (2006). "Milwaukee's Best". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  11. ^ a b McClelland (2008), p. 28.
  12. ^ Back, Brian (2008-08-21). "Brew City's treasures just waiting to be tapped". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  13. ^ Crowley, Jeff (2007-09-30). "Bowling for ages at Holler House". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  14. ^ Ramde, Dinesh. "Milwaukee gives a holler to favorite bowling alley". Retrieved 2008-09-14.[dead link]
  15. ^ Tarnoff, Andy (2006-07-11). "Unique bar guide: Part III". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  16. ^ a b c d McClelland (2008), p. 29.
  17. ^ "Milwaukee fan joins Jack White on stage; rest of world jealous". Retrieved 2018-02-22.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°00′12″N 87°56′23″W / 43.0034°N 87.9396°W / 43.0034; -87.9396