Construction on Hwy D brings motorists past the old Lighthouse Lanes

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May 23, 2017 – Barton, WI – With a segment of County Trunk Highway D closed for the next few months motorists are being rerouted down Lighthouse Lane past the old bowling alley. That parcel was sold in December 2015 to Jim Otten from Kettle Moraine Appliance.

Quite a few neighbors chimed in with their memories when they heard the bowling alley was being gutted. Below is the story posted Dec. 5, 2015 at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

 

   ****Later today check out the video post – One last walk through Lighthouse Lanes.***

***A note of thanks for your support on WashingtonCountyInsider.com  In just over a year this webpage has registered over 4.2 million views.  Thanks for the clicks!***

 

POSTED DEC. 5, 2015 – As neighbors fight to retain the history connected to the bridge behind the downtown West Bend Theatre another longtime landmark has been sold and gutted.
Lighthouse Lanes, 7294 Sleepy Hollow Road, in the town of Barton was sold to Jim Otten, owner of Kettle Moraine Appliance and TV. Otten is in the process of gutting the former bowling alley to turn it into storage for his store across the street.
On Friday a Kettle Moraine Appliance truck was parked in front of the bowling alley. Inside rows of bottle beer covered the bar area, bowling balls and pins were strewn in the gutters and the mechanical pin setters lay in a pile on the floor.

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“We’re stripping it down to sell some of it,” said former owner Tom Zernia. Walking to the far end of the alley Zernia tapped his toe on the lane. “This is synthetic and the original wood lane is underneath; we’ll be selling at $20 a linear foot.”
Zernia said when he owned the place he spent $100,000 putting in new flooring. “I sell this stuff pretty regular for countertops and work benches.” Zernia now runs Boss Realty. He oversaw the sale of the building for about $245,000.
Records in the Research Center at the Washington County Historical Society have a rather thin timeline on the building on Sleepy Hollow Road. Archives show it dates to the late 1930s when it was a tavern and gas station located along the old Highway 55.

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Harold and Alice Laubenstein from Cedarburg purchased the Lighthouse Lanes and Bowling Alley in the mid-1940s. The couple added a dance hall and called the place Lighthouse ballroom. An advertisement, dated June 1947, reads ‘Lighthouse Ballroom serves Chicken-in-the-Basket. Fish fry every Friday night. H. Laubenstein.’

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In a back room on Friday afternoon, a couple of heavy metal signs about 3-feet long were found. The signs read ‘Laubenstein.’ Zernia wasn’t quite sure what the signs were used for but he assumed they dated to the 1940s.
Other owners were John Bertram who ran it as Lighthouse Lanes Dance Hall and Art and Edna Sepersky who owned and operated Lighthouse Lanes from 1952 until Art retired in 1982. Art kept on working for his son, Mike who ran the business until the 1990s.
Art Sepersky is quoted as saying “the tower and ballroom were built in 1942, and the building became known as the Lighthouse Ballroom.” Details on the construction of the lighthouse are sketchy. “It was built as an attraction,” said Sepersky. He recalled there used to be 8-foot high neon bowling pins decorating the roof. Wedding dances were held until 1949 when 10 bowling lanes replaced the dance floor.
Another ad, dated Dec. 1960 reads, ‘Sal’s Lighthouse Dining Room Complete dinners served daily and Sundays. The address in the ad is Hy 45 N and the phone number is FE 4-5711.
An article on bowling alleys highlighted Lighthouse Lanes. “Opened for business in August of 1950 as a corporation. Art Sepersky was hired as manager in 1951 and became one of five stockholders in 1953. Automatic pinsetters were installed in the mid-50s with more modern ones replacing them in 1968. Sepersky became sole owner in 1973 after purchasing all the outstanding stock. 1978 saw Mike Sepersky become owner of Lighthouse Lanes, along with his father.

 

Comments below from Washington County Insider on Facebook, Dec. 5, 2015

 

Lynn Judnic Oh, so sad. When I moved to this area in “77” I immediately found a team to bowl with. Rita Sepersky and the Cotter girls, Sally, Joanie and Sally were responsible for many a Tuesday morning on the couch, and we didn’t blame Jerry Holl for over serving. I went on to coaching the youth bowling leagues for many years and also tended bar on Friday nights. Bowled a 700 series on lanes 3/4, my favorite pair, so many tournaments and fund raisers. Thanks for the memories Art, Mike, Harvey, Tom, and Patty.

 

Bill Leissring Lots of good memories. When the railroad removed the tracks behind the building they sold me the crossing signal complete with the bell. It is fully functional, in my basement.

 

Eileen Hanrahan So sad to see this go 🙁!! I grew up across the road just behind the Lighthouse. I remember the stories my Dad still tells about when he worked for Art. In those days, they used to hand-set the pins before the automatic pin-setters were installed. In the late 1980’s, I would go in early in the morning & clean the bowling alley for Art & Edna. My Dad bowled on a league there for many years. Was a fun place to go for my sister, brothers & I on a day when there wasn’t much to do & just bowl a few games. Today, kids don’t know what fun is, just sit & play their video games!!! To bad so many of the historic places in West Bend are now coming to an end. Just good memories of them now-a-days!!

 

Brian Repp Too bad. Spent plenty of time there in high school for travelling league meets. Kinda sad to see it go
Brian Metz Had my share of Captain and Cokes there. Also had my best game ever during league play–279. Left a wobbly 5 pin on my first ball in the 10th. Picked it up and left another 5 pin.

 

 

Kristine Deiss Art Sepersky was my uncle and I have great memories of the Lighthouse. When their son Mike was born, my Aunt Edna and Uncle Art lived upstairs and had a German Shepherd named “Dutch” who would guard those stairs from stray bowlers who may have had too much to drink. No one could go up unless Art or Edna let Dutch know it was ok. When we visited, Dutch would let me up but my parents would have to wait until Uncle Art called Dutch off. Also have great memories of bowling there when I was young and in high school. I’ll keep my memories and treasure them regardless of what happens to the building.

 

Judy Ninke So sad, a lot of fantastic times there. Sad to see it go. I always bowled my best there. I did have a 300 there even tho it was a 9 pin tap, I am still proud. Always one of my favorite sponsors for softball and pool. Sorry to see it go

 

Kathy Lewandoske Rudy and Lillian Pfeiffer were the ones that sold it to the Seperskys . ( just as asked to their daughter ) Art bartended for them , and then later bought the business. “Lill” was my Dads sister, I remember hearing stores about when “Rudy and Lill had the bowling alley “

 

Scott Hoogester I will always miss that place. Sad to see it go.

 

Dana Rosbeck-Gutkowski Lot’s of great memories there. The best is when I met the man who became my husband there 10 year’s ago this past August.

 

Jessi Taylor Sad. Was my home away from home for several years. Katie Swanson Ryan Sullivan
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Katie Swanson I know! Wish we could have had one last after bar there!!! lol. At least we have all the memories:)
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Brian Henson I remember those days well. Played a lot of Mexican back then, even though I was mostly to young to “partake.” Walked by there this August at reunion time. When did it close? I remember they had a big add on 5-10 years ago.
John Kastner year before last i think…started bowling there when i was 8 years old…. finished around 45….
Terry Groth Good times were had there

 

Mike Gonring I was in a Saturday morning league there in 7th grade. Great fun.

 

Tina Mals Phillips Sad to see it go. Did some bowling there had a xmas party there too.

 

Rebecca Smith Sad to see it go, many memories there bowling with my kids. 😟

 

Sue Barber Tami Polarek, this where I srarted bowling. Sad to see it go.
Sue Mansmith Only place where I was on a bowling team.

 

Emily Held Met my husband there.
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Nate Hill Saw your husband get thrown thru the front door there.
Jason Roos It took me years to recover from the closing of Frontier Bowl and now this. 😢🎳
 
Jana Joy Lange Yep, I saw it. We had a lot of fun there! So many great memories!
Nicole Pearson Jeanna Schacht Jaime Schulz Sara Steinert WilsonLynn Thull Jessi Steinert Jackie Bechler…….Babes with Balls Forever! 🎳 💙

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