SEVERAL PEOPLE RECOGNIZED the August picture from the past as the East First building that once housed Port Angeles Recreation, which was home to a bowling alley and a cafe called the Schaffer Grill.
Port Angeles Recreation moved from 118½ E. Front St. in about 1952 into a new building at 1015 E. First St. that was built for it.
In 1958, the name was changed to Port Angeles Bowling and the cafe was the Ten Pin Grill.
In 1967, they moved to a new building at 1714 E. First St.
Howard Priest, one of the present owners of the building at 1015 E. First St., says his grandfather, Carl Huntington, and Arthur Lannoye Jr. built the building and also the 1714 E. First St. building.
Priest remembered bowling in the new building when he was in high school.
Huntington was quite mechanically inclined, so the new alley had automatic pin setters.
By 2008, that bowling alley was closed, and as of now, we only have the one bowling alley, Laurel Lanes on West Eighth Street.
When the bowling alley moved from 1015 E. First St., Angeles Floor Covering, owned by Harold C. Smith, took over the site.
In 1973, the name was changed to Angeles Interiors with wholesale carpets and rugs.
In 1975, the State Liquor Store was located there and stayed at least until 1980.
By 1986, Jim’s Appliances-Sales and Service was the new resident.
The El Amigo Restaurant had a Mexican restaurant at the back of the building as early as 1984.
In 1991, the front section of the site was vacant except for the Home Laundry.
Sofie’s Florist was there in 1993 and through at least 1995.
By 1995, the laundromat was Maytag Home Laundry.
In 1997, the main front part of the building was vacant again.
Strait Music moved there in 1997 and is still there, as is the laundromat.
El Amigo closed sometime between 2001 and 2008.
After El Amigo closed, the Coo Coo Nest opened as a cocktail lounge.
It was there for about four years.
G.J.’s was there for a short time, and the Cherry Bomb is there at present.
Jim Roberts was owner-manager of Coo Coo Nest, and Jill Hornsby is owner-manager of the Cherry Bomb.
Leo Bidne and Sam Perkins are the managers of Strait Music.
Bidne has been with the store since it moved from downtown in 1997, nearly 20 years ago.
Perkins has been with the business since 2001.
Bidne and Perkins said there is memorabilia in the attic connected to the old bowling alley days.
Allen Brannin wrote that the building pictured in the PDN was first built as a bowling alley.
Later, it was used as a state liquor store and at some point was a floor coverings place.
Fred Minker said he set pins at the bowling alley on First Street in 1956, before the automatic pin setters were installed.
Gary Bates also set pins after school and on weekends in 1956 and 1957. He lived just a few blocks away.
George Williams wrote that when he was a little kid in the 1950s, his mother, Agnes Helgesen, bowled there.
He and his brother, Steven Little, often got to go in the back and watch the pin setters. There were no machines in those days.
Bev Brown recognized the photo as the old bowling alley. The roof still has the unique design.
Cecil Cameron wrote that he bowled many games at the old bowling alley and remembered Lannoye Jr. as manager.
He thought that the Tradwell Store had originally been in that building, but my research shows that Tradwell came from downtown Front and Laurel streets to First Street across from the bowling alley at 1015 First St.
It appears that the popularity of bowling alleys has changed throughout the years.
Laurel Lanes, the one remaining alley, still seems to be very busy.
Businesses have come and gone in Port Angeles, but it is fun to trace the history and see what is here now and what is gone.
Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at [email protected].
Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.