Former Timber Lanes building demolishedPublished 8:36am Wednesday, June 18, 2014
What was once the AA Timber Lanes Bowling Alley is now a vacant lot, torn down and hauled away last month by construction crews.
Chemical Bank, which owns the property, was forced to have the building demolished after the roof caved in during the winter.
Chuck Kinney, authorized agent of Chemical Bank, said last week that the lot, located at 517 N. Second St., Niles, is for sale for $39,900.
Chemical Bank came into possession of the property in January of 2011.
Kinney said they were in the process of selling the building when the roof caved in under the weight of the winter’s heavy snowfall.
“We were within weeks of having the deal together,” he said. “We couldn’t repair it.”
Niles resident Ruth Ann (Wieland) Garling said her father, Ted Wieland, used to run a welding shop called Ted the Welder on the property before turning it into a bowling alley sometime in the early 1950s. It started out with eight alleys before Wieland expanded it to 12.
“It had a lot of leagues. (Ted) had a very good personality and was very outgoing — everyone liked him,” Garling said. “Most of the people just came there and had a really good time.”
Niles resident Bob Leak, 78, said he grew up on Second Street about two doors down from the bowling alley. He worked there as a pinsetter through school.
“I worked there every summer and every summer Ted did something different — added on to it or remodeled,” he said. “Ted was like a father to me and the bowling alley was a second home. I spent more time there than I did at home.”
Garling, 78, said she did not find out it was being torn down until it was too late.
“I went down there and it was gone,” she said. “I don’t have any memorabilia from there. I’d like to have a bowling pin or something. It’s very sad. It’s been there a long time.”
Anyone interested in purchasing the property can contact Kinney at (989) 839-5265.