History of the Grower’s Recreation Bowling League

During the mid-1800s German immigrants began migrating to the United States and settling on

the southside of Indianapolis in areas along Bluff Road. These German immigrants primarily

became truck gardeners that grew all kinds of vegetables in greenhouses to be sold to the

farmer’s market. In fact, to honor the legacy of these German immigrants and their descendants, the

Indiana Historical Bureau erected a historical landmark in 1998 entitled “German Greenhouses

and Truck Gardeners” located in Bluff Park at 555 W. Hanna Avenue. 

In 1940 members of the

Brehob family decided to build a bowling alley on US 31 which became known as Sport Bowl

and [it] was completed in 1941. At this time the truck gardeners got together and decided to

start a bowling league where they could get together one night a week for fun and fellowship.

This bowling league was formed for the winter bowling season of 1941 and was appropriately

named the Grower’s Recreation Bowling League. 

The league started as a 12-team men’s

scratch league. All members of these teams consisted of these truck gardeners or their

relatives. Each team would have a sponsor. It remained this way for probably at least the first

5 decades or so. The way they kept it as a scratch league was to create a team make-up

committee each year to review the final averages of each bowler and making the new teams up

for the next season so they would have basically the same team floor average from one team to

another give or take a couple of pins. 

Since then, as the league expanded, the league was

changed to a handicap league to make things easier. As members achieved the milestone of 25

years in the bowling league, they would receive a trophy commemorating that achievement.

Throughout the years, several of the bowlers achieved this milestone as they would return year

after year for the continuing fun and fellowship. In fact, there were some that bowled in the

league for as many as 60 years and didn’t stop bowling until they were in their early 90’s.

Throughout the years as time has passed since the starting year of 1941 the original truck

gardeners are no longer with us but a few of their relatives/descendants are still bowling and

trying to keep the league and their memory going strong. After Sport Bowl closed, the league

moved to EXPO Bowl where we are now entering our 83 rd year. 

So, if you are looking for a late

league that has a lot of tradition along with fun and fellowship started by those founding truck

gardeners so many years ago, please contact EXPO Bowl and the league. We would love to

have you join us.

Historical League Record Documents