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The Larry Bell Bowling Lanes, circa the 1940s.

An article in the Oct. 16, 1945, Marietta Daily Journal reported the dedication of Larry Bell Park and Recreation Center was to take place the following month with a barbecue and ceremony honoring Lawrence D. Bell, president of Bell Aircraft Corporation. Bell, himself, and several distinguished Georgians were to attend the dedication, which was sponsored by the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce.

The Center’s building was said to be “wonderfully equipped with the latest facilities for recreation and athletic training” and “eight bowling alleys have already been shipped” and “two basketball games can be played in the building at the same time.”

In the Oct. 22, 1945, paper, it was reported that eight new bowling alleys arrived the Friday before and were being installed at Larry Bell Park. The article said both duck and 10 pin play would be available as soon as the park was officially opened. Bowlers were urged to register soon by the park board, which planned “to organize leagues in Marietta from the industrial plants, civic and service clubs, schools, churches, merchants and individuals.”

In his May 28, 1958, “Winging The Sports” column, Journal Sports Editor Horace Crowe wrote: “No matter how the weather may be on the outside, there is one sport in Marietta and Cobb County, like ‘Old Man River,’ keeps on rolling. Larry Bell Lanes, in Larry Bell auditorium, offers one fun and relaxation, regardless of the weather. While there are not too many leagues participating in summer bowling, it seems to us that now would be a good time for those who want to learn or ‘brush up’ on their bowling to do so. Larry Bell Lanes are now cool and comfortable, thanks to up-to-date an air-conditioning plant that has been added, and those who want to seek relief from summer heat, and at the same time enjoy themselves, will find the answer here. In appreciation of the growing interest in bowling, the Larry Bell Park Board has left no stone unturned in providing the best for bowling patrons. In addition to air conditioning and automatic pinsetters, the Lanes provide a modern Snack Bar and Grill where the athletes can satisfy their thirst or hunger and still participate in an interesting sport.”

Photo courtesy of Marietta Museum of History

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