THE MAYOR'S REPORT: 18 S. Carlisle St. offered bowling, dry goods, ice cream and more over the years

Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

A rather beautiful but chilly Sunday afternoon in Greencastle. A little too cool for some side porch sittin’ so the family room is quite inviting. From my last writing I’ve received some good, historic facts regarding that second bowling alley that was in Greencastle, circa World War II. I also found out why Needy’s Restaurant in the basement “hole” of the southwest corner of Center Square was called the “bucket of blood.” That two-lane bowling alley on the first floor closed in the late 1940s after a fire there.

A special thanks to Lon Barkdoll, Randy Schultz and former Mayor Frank Mowen for their insight. So, the back room of 18 S. Carlisle Street is still there — that was the two-lane duck pin bowling alley. You may recall Belle’s Dry Goods Store that was there in later years. Tom Zullinger was one who ran the bowling alley in the back as Rhoda McLaughlin owned the building. In the front was a barber shop, ice cream parlor, pool tables and a billiard table. Prior to that the building housed a smoke shop, grocery store, and furniture mart.

The back room of 18 S. Carlisle St. in Greencastle once housed a two-lane duck pin bowling alley. It cost about a quarter to bowl a game.

Frank Mowen advised me he worked there while in high school manually setting the pins for five cents a game. It cost about a quarter (25 cents) to bowl a game. Frank worked for John and Marie Conrad who took over the bowling lanes from Tom Zullinger. He worked there in the evenings several nights a week for about three years. Frank graduated from Greencastle High School and had enlisted in the United States Navy while still in school. Monday night was the Rotary Club’s bowling league night. Lucket’s Barber Shop was in the front. Randy Schultz owned the building for a time. He remembers a box of bowling pins and small bowling balls that were housed in the basement.

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Remember ... families may have had one car back then. You walked or rode your bicycle in or to town where all of the shops and professional services were located. Great, natural planning back then based on transportation at the time. Today’s planners call new communities with these amenities as living communities. I’m proud to live in a historic living community that was founded in 1782.

How about that oatmeal pie recipe? Many folks that I’ve seen in town have asked me about it.  Tina received this wonderful recipe from a member of the Greencastle-Antrim Women’s Club years ago. Here it is:  2 eggs; ½ cup (c.) of brown sugar; ¾ c. Karo syrup (light or dark); ½ c. Oleo; ½ c. white sugar; 1 c. milk; ¾ c. quick oatmeal (dry); 1 c. shredded coconut; mix together and place into unbaked pie crust (9 inch); bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Double the recipe for three, 9-inch pies. Delicious!

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

So OK ... Frank Mowen advises Needy’s Restaurant, nicknamed the “bucket of blood,” was on the first floor of the south-west corner of Center Square before it moved to “the hole” or the basement in the same building. It was a famous spot for locals to play poker. From the poker games fights would break out, thus the name “bucket of blood” for the location.

Frank advises another basement restaurant was popular below the Hotel Greencastle at East Baltimore and North Washington streets. Tongue sandwiches were very popular at Pentz’ Restaurant. If you’re wondering, tongue meat comes from beef, pig, sheep or veal.

So Christmas is less than two weeks away. My prayer is that you, your family and friends are and will have a joyous Christmas. Parking is free in downtown Greencastle. Come on in, get a cup of coffee, and shop small. Please stay healthy as COVID is real. EMS and area hospitals all over the tree-state area have been extremely busy treating patients.

I had hoped to write further regarding the death of Colonel Uric Dahlgren in March 1864. That will have to wait until my next writing. Meanwhile, if you want to hear something beautiful, listen to Alabama sing “The Blessing.” Great words. Merry Christmas everyone. We are certainly blessed.