Triangle Lanes Bowling Alley has had an interesting existence, ever since it started out as a lumber yard.  It is located where Dierks Lumber and Coal Company had been built in 1912. Dierks bought lots west of the Finch Drug Store without waiting for the trains to extend lines to Arnold, then built and stocked temporary sheds.  (In those days, having a train line pass through your town was a BIG deal, and the best way to get supplies.  

Even though the town wasn’t sure of the exact date the train would arrive in Arnold, a momentous celebration was held June 14, 1912.  Things started off with a bang when Joe Henry and friends rolled several barrels of kerosene to an open spot and set them on fire, breaking several windows, but nobody minded, Arnold was finally a railroad town!)  After the trains came, larger permanent lumber sheds and an office were built by young carpenter Homer Koch.  “Small frame houses occupied by John and May Finch and Mrs. Will (Lucinda) Mills were moved off the lots to make room for the new lumber sheds.” 

In 1940, Glen Myers bought Dierks Lumber Yard and converted the lumber storage sheds to a roller skating rink and dance hall.  Since the lumberyard sheds were built open to the elements, Myers had to put up walls and windows on the structures.  Arnold folks were known to enjoy dancing, so the building was used regularly.  

Glen and Margaret Myers had also opened a Tavern in the newly vacated Dierks Office (Jake’s Horses and Harley’s).  In 1961, when Stuart Watson bought the building, he converted Myers Hall into Triangle Lanes Bowling Alley.  In the fall, during the grand opening of “Triangle Lanes,” Stuart gave free bowling for a day to anybody coming in that day. 

Watson added on to the north end of the original lumber sheds to accommodate the bowling machines.  (The original sheds were long enough for the lanes, but not long enough for the bowling machines.)  Watson also had to cover the windows of the original lumberyard sheds.  Stuart added a drive-up window on the side of the bowling alley to serve ice-cream.  

Dell Cerny bought the Bowling Alley from Stuart in the fall of 1979.  When asked why he bought it, he responded, “Stuart Watson talked me into it.”  Dell had been bowling on a league for five years and had helped with repair work, so Stuart felt Dell was the perfect person to operate the machines.   When Dell said, “Yes”, Stuart offered to finance him.  Dell has owned “Triangle Lanes” Bowling Alley ever since (41 years total in the fall of 2020). 

 When Dell bought the building, he continued to use the snack bar window.  At that time, there was also a small door on the west side.  Circa 1980, several gals from Arnold manned the ice-cream and snack bar including: Allison Dillon, Sue Kirby Phillips, and Jacque Higgins.  

Photo: 1980

The early 1980’s were a “heyday” for bowling; there were nine, five-man teams, and a game cost only $0.45.  Several renovations were needed; Dell insulated the building, lowered the ceilings, installed a new heating system, installed a new glass front door, purchased pin setters to replace the leased ones, and in 1981 made a small lean-to building for the drive-up window.  (Unfortunately, a powerful storm blew it down and it had to be rebuilt.  The lean-to was abandoned the second time a storm hit, because that storm had caused too much damage.)  The building had depreciated out due to extreme damage to the trusses, hail had knocked holes in the roof, gutters in the bowling alley were full of water, and in winter snow would blow in on the lanes.  It was time to put up a new building! 

 In 1993, Dell erected a new steel structure and had the old building torn down.  Improvements made at that time included painting the interior, adding a mural in the front, and changing to an LED lighting system.  “It was quite a challenge to move the alleys to the new building.”  

Over Dell’s 41 years of ownership, he is now seeing a decline in leagues, but continues to provide this service to the community.  For its size, Arnold is fortunate to have a bowling alley, and Dell estimates that there are less than five towns, with a population less than 800, that even have a bowling center.  (Look closely at the triangle at the top of the main photo, it says “BOWL WHERE YOU SEE THE “MAGIC TRIANGLE”, which is the logo of the AMF bowling machines.  The inset photo shows the present day alleys with the mural on the far wall.)  Dell’s wife Chyrel and daughter Barb Gunther have been there helping Dell through his 41 years of ownership.  This is a great place to get some exercise and have an enjoyable time with friends. 

(Some information for the markers was taken from the book “One Hundred Years on the South Loup” by Norene Hall Mills.  Written and prepared by Berni Crow 5/24/20)