In 1910 the H. B. Massey Building was a bowling alley and restaurant. Named after its owner, Herbert Massey, this social club welcomed men and women to unwind and forget their worries. Three lanes were located at each end of the building. A bowler, using a hand -held ball, would knock down duck pins or candle stick pins steadied by a "pin boy". The foot pedal located under the floor reset the hardware holding the pins. Small bowling alleys like this were common in the 1900's and several existed on Milton Ave in 1910.
Mr. Massey and his contemporaries, Richard Canfield and Cale Mitchell, owned and operated illegal gambling houses in Saratoga Springs in the late 1800's and early 1900's. In 1901 the Herbert House Hotel, a three story wooden structure at this location, burned completely. In 1902 a crack-down on pool halls and gambling houses forced Mr. Massey to find other money making opportunities, which led to the restaurant and bowling enterprise.
The Massey Cafe and Bowling, created of sturdy brick and tin, was open for business by 1910. The cafe was often the subject of local newspapers as it was a common gathering place for politicians, bridal parties and business meetings. Herbert Massey and his stepson, Louis Holden, were highlighted in the newspapers as they were people of interest and often controversy.
The fir floors, mosaic tile and tin ceilings are original to the building. In addition to discovering bowling lanes under 1940's linoleum, another fantastic find occurred when a 1910 baseball card depicting Edward Cicotte was excised from the floor during repair. Baseball cards were commonly placed in cigarette packs during this time and are still collected today.
Intensive restoration have resulted in an unusual space of quiet beauty that echoes days of long ago.