It’s the end of an era in New Carlisle.
Century Lanes, 3301 S. Dayton-Lakeview Road, will close its doors for good on June 2. The 24-lane bowling center will be repurposed as a manufacturing facility, according to general manager Rick Borns.
Century Lanes – which first opened its doors in 1960 as Medway 69 Lanes – holds a special place in Borns’ heart as it was the first center he ever bowled league in when he was just 6 years old. He has spent more than three decades working in the bowling industry, first at Fairborn Recreation and, most recently, at Century Lanes.
“Just about all of my closest friends I’ve met through bowling,” Borns said.
But times have changed in the industry.
“Centers used to be 90 percent leagues – two shifts every night – the only time for open bowling was Sunday afternoon,” he said. “Now, it’s probably more like 65 percent open play or organized events. People, especially with kids, are much busier than they used to be.”
The Clark County bowling center is home to nightly leagues as well as the Tecumseh High School squad. Most of the teams plan to relocate to other centers. While the lanes will soon be gone, the memories will live on.
Several area bowlers weighed in on their memories of Century Lanes:
“I shot my first 300 there, ten years ago in the Tuesday night men’s league.” – Tracy Borchert
“February 21, 2007, I was blessed enough to bowl 899, 300-300-299 – 899, on lanes 17-18. Always will have fond memories of that place because of that night.” – George Gohagan III
“Won an ABT masters championship back in the 90s there. Hate to hear another center closing its doors.” – Daniel Grindle
“Many memories for me, but the most memorable is winning City Queens there in 2017. Sad to see it close.” – Jessica Hatcher
“This is where it all began for me thanks to Matthew Parks and Jerry Kessler. Got to meet and know a lot of people there and had a lot of fun times in the Boom Boom Room.” – Jason Pugsley
“My husband bowled there years ago when it was Medway Lanes, before they got automatic scoring, and I used to keep score for the men’s league and they got me a plaque at the end of the season, it was such a surprise. I got engaged the night of my husband’s league and got to show them all my ring after getting to the bowling alley that night – 32 years ago this year. My husband also bowled his first ever 700 series there, back when getting a 700 was a huge deal.” – Betty Quigley
“I remember growing up in Park Layne and Medway/Century Lanes being an integral part of my childhood. My mom bowled in the Monday morning women’s trio and had the kids signed up for YABA on Saturday mornings. Barb Sheffer and John McWilliams were the YABA coaches back then. Seemed that whenever you walked through the door, Dick or Carol Stocker was manning the control desk whether it was early morning bowling, mid-afternoon leagues, or Saturday moonlight bowling when my mom was working the snack counter or tending bar in the Boom Boom Room. We kids would be sure to go because grandma would come up from Dayton, sit with us, and buy us whatever we wanted to eat. At almost 50, these thoughts stay as fresh in my mind as the days they were first imprinted there.” – Michael Schoonover
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