MOUNT JACKSON, Va. (AP) — The pins and balls in duckpin bowling aren’t as forgiving to beginners as the larger, heavier 10-pin bowling, but according to competitor Jerry Middleton it is what keeps him coming back to Shenandoah Bowling Lanes. The sport is believed to have started in Baltimore, and while duckpin enjoyed its peak in the 1960s, only around 60 alleys remain in the United States.
“It’s like a mind game,” says Middleton during a decidedly low-key tournament at Shenandoah.
Six bowling lanes are squeezed inside the second floor of the old brick building at the alley, which has been open since 1948. Its maple wood floors and vintage fixtures still largely intact, the only thing that is out of mid-century character is the Black Keys and Alabama Shakes playing on the radio.