Rose Bowl Lane Fire
by Pat Sides
This photo appeared in an Evansville newspaper on August 8, 1966, capturing the drama during a fire at the Rose Bowl Lanes on the previous night. For nearly four hours, one hundred firefighters battled the three-alarm inferno before extinguishing flames at the bowling alley, which was located on the second floor of the Jewel-Sanderson building at 116 NW First Street.
The fire completely destroyed the Rose Bowl Lanes and heavily damaged the Gaslight A-Go-Go Club on the first floor. The Smith and Butterfield office supply store, which shared a common wall with the Jewel-Sanderson building, was spared, along with the Brucken Company on the opposite wall.
Just a few weeks earlier, in June, the Lawndale Bowling Lanes on Green River Road had also perished in a fire. Built-in 1942 in the heart of downtown Evansville, the Jewel-Sanderson building’s fate was in question even before the fires, since it was slated for purchase as part of the city’s riverfront urban renewal project.