Windham Life and Times – February 14, 2020

Windham | Mid-Century Modern


March 1959: “Plans to provide local bowlers with a new and modern 24 lane Candlepin bowling center were announced today by Frank V. Sandberg, Windham NH. The new establishment to be known as Sandy’s Bowl-a-drome will be located at located on Route 28 in Windham, N.H., just north of the junction of Route 111. Construction will start immediately with completion scheduled for approximately July 1st. Mr. Sandberg said the cost of the project is estimated at $300,000 which includes the construction of a 18,000 Sq. Ft. building and installation of Brunswick bowling equipment and Bowl-Mor automatic pin setters…”


September 1959: Governor Wesley Powell has been invited to cut the ribbon and officially open Sandy’s Bowladrome, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Bowladrome north of Route 111 in Windham is co-owned by Frank V. Sandberg and Benjamin Siegel.

The Grand Opening, which begins at 10:30 on Saturday will continue through Sunday. Prizes will be awarded to those in attendance. The first prize being a 100 U.S. savings bond.”

“The Bowladrome which features Candle-Pin type of bowling, will be New Hampshire’s newest and largest bowling center and will include 24 beautiful lanes. It will feature automatic-noiseless pinsetters, range finders, Tel-E-Fouls, subway bowl returns and electric hand dryers. Sandy’s is completely air conditioned by an 80 ton unit and the new spacious building (140’ x 127’) is housed in concrete and tile steel with more than 18,000 feet of floor space… Other conveniences for the bowler are the 150 car capacity parking lot and refreshments which are available at the Snack Bar and in modern vending machines.  One of the most unique innovations at Sandy’s is the drive-in canopy under which cars can discharge their passengers in the event of rain.”

“…The Bowladrome encourages bowling teams and is ready and willing to give assistance in forming bowling leagues. Regular lessons for bowlers will start in the near future. Leagues are now being formed…Wall to wall carpeting provides a soft-toe effect and feels as though you’re walking on air as you glide across the vestibule. The carpet is a bright color and depicts pins and bowling balls which is an ideal theme. All in all Sandy’s Bowladrome will add a great deal to this section of New Hampshire.”


“Improved service to keep pace with the town’s continuing growth is the keynote at Derry’s telephone office on East Broadway.”

“Serving not only Derry, but also Windham, Londonderry, East Derry and Derry Village, the local office has seen and impressive climb in consumer figures during the last decade and a half. Chief operator Barbara Berry reports that since she joined the company in 1945 the number of lines in local use has shot from about 600 to more than 1200. Most of these lines are not single party, but have as many as eight customers. Accordingly the number of operators has gone form 10 to 22 over the same period.”

“Derry ranks third in this state in sales increases. The term ‘sales’ includes addition of lines, installation of extension phones and sales of new colored telephones. Miss Berry speculates that the spurt is due in part to the influx of new families moving into various housing developments around town. She predicts that the growth will continue undiminished. ‘The demand is always greater than we estimate,’ she says.”

“The pronounced and constant increase in demand could have only one result: Derry’s conversion to the dial system. ‘Derry is growing to the extent that if we were not changing to dial, we would have to add more switchboards and operators,’ noted Miss Berry.”

“The town will go dial on May 5, 1960. Preparations are already in full swing. Workman swarm through the pleasant stucco building that houses the offices, drilling, hammering, and even tearing down inside partitions in the process of preparing to receive the complex dial equipment. In October the component parts of the physical plant will arrive. They will be assembled during the seven months before the conversion date.”

“After May 5, Derry will no longer need any operators. Although the girls have been guaranteed new jobs in nearby towns like Manchester or Lawrence, they will miss the friendly, informal closeness of a small town.”

“ ‘Since everyone knows everybody else,’ says Miss Berry, ‘we think of the townspeople as our friends. We are lucky here in Derry,’ she continues, speaking for the other operators as well as herself. ‘The customers are very polite. In return we try to bend over backwards to give good service and little courtesies.’ These ‘little courtesies’ will be what townspeople will most miss after Derry goes dial. No longer will Mothers be able to pick up the phone on a snowy morning and find out whether school is in session. No longer will the curious be able to discover where the fire is when they here the siren.”

“Nor will housewives be able to check their clocks when they run down, or ask directions for basting a turkey at Christmastime. Puzzled young scholars will have to use the dictionary to figure out spellings—and small children will not be able to call Santa Claus and hear the deep voice of some willing Derry resident answer their questions about the North Pole.”

“All of these service will go out with the advent of dial. But emergency service—always the pride of telephone offices everywhere—will remain reassuringly dependable. By dialing ‘O’ a telephone may reach a Manchester operator who has the numbers of all the Derry emergency facilities at her fingertips. Miss Berry thinks that most of the 22 operators in her office will take telephone jobs in other localities rather than give up the work they know. ‘There is something about telephone work that makes operators want to stay with it,’ says she. An operator is always learning. There is no monopoly on her job. When working with the public, there is something new every day. New ideas, new ways…that’s progress.” (You could listen in on the calls of all 8 people on the party line.)


“Windham elections were held on Tuesday as is customary but the business portion of the annual town meeting was delayed to the following evening after voters expressed this to be their desire in action under Article 2 of the warrant. There were no election contests. The following being re-elected unopposed: Town Clerk, Eleanor Zins; Selectman, Thomas Waterhouse Jr.; Treasurer, Richard Fellows; Tax Collector, RoseBoda; Trustee of the Trust Funds, Emma Jackson…”

“At the Wednesday meeting the town voted for strict control of trailers, zoning regulations being adopted for both trailers and mobile homes. It was also voted to give the planning board added authority under Article 15. A vote was taken approving the holding of Town Meetings hereafter on the Wednesday evening following the annual election day as was done this year. Under Article 26, it was voted to raise $1,500 to construct an office for the police department.



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