Roseland Cottage

Bowl at Home

The outstanding recreational feature at Roseland Cottage is the bowling alley. Roseland’s bowling 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 not for different games such as duck or candle pins, but reflect that bowling had no standardized rules until 1895. This is a ten pin alley, which was very popular when Roseland 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–not only the oldest, but perhaps the only Gothic Revival bowling alley in the country.