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Bowling, bowling gone

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So today, the Lewis County Legislature made bowling in Lewis County almost a thing of the past.

With a 6-4 vote, the legislators approved the purchase of Lewis Lanes, the Lowville bowling alley that just a few years ago was rebuilt from the ashes of a devastating fire. That leaves a part-time alley in the south of the county and Harrisville Lanes in the extreme northeast corner of the county, and nothing in between. The irony is inescapable; Lowville, home to the only bowling-pin manufacturing plant in the western hemisphere, no longer has a place to use them.

Bowling leagues, for those who may not know this, run from fall to early spring. In Lewis County, that’s known as Lake Effect Season. Trips from places like Greig and Martinsburg and Turin to Watertown for bowling become, frequently, adventures. For most people, it won’t be worth it.

The county will now convert the almost-new lanes into its office headquarters, likely for less than 20 percent of the cost it was facing for a new office building. The building is wide open, so the cost of renovating it to meet office space needs likely will be less than converting an existing office building. And with the adjoining land, there is plenty of space for expansion and parking. So to some degree it makes sense.

Unless you’re a bowler. If you can’t wait for that league to start, if you love knocking those pins over, well, this probably isn’t going to make you happy. At all. One more old rural tradition bites the dust. Or the sawdust, if you prefer.

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