Roseland Cottage

Bowl at Home

The outstanding recreational feature at Roseland Cottage is the bowling alley. The alley is certainly not the first in the country, but it is the oldest one that remains, built in 1846 when the house was built. The various-sized bowling balls are all for ten pin bowling, and reflect that bowling had no standardized rules until 1895. Ten pin bowling was very popular when Roseland Cottage was built. What we call “bowling” was sometimes referred to as ” ten pin,” as in the case of Clarence’s journal entry: “Yesterday morning I played ten pins with Rufus scoring 145.” Ten pin replaced nine pin in 1841 when nine pin was banned in Connecticut because of its association with gambling and drinking. In short, with a little Yankee ingenuity, they just added another pin to get around the law. Note the pointed arch—Roseland Cottage’s is not only the oldest, but perhaps the only Gothic Revival bowling alley in the country.