Membership quickly increased in the first year and by 1939 the club had 139 members. In 1945 the rolls showed a total of 171 members, including 53 women. This represented 31 percent of the membership. Currently, the women make up 61 percent of our club membership. Women were always an important part of the organization, although in the early years the women and men bowled in separate leagues.
The club house was added in 1940, built under a contract with the National Youth Administration, and lights for evening bowling were added in the 1950’s.
On September 8, 1940 we held our first Inter-City Tournament which was attended by teams from Ashland, East Cleveland, Lorain and New London. In 1941 the club made a trip to East Cleveland for the opening of their new greens. We continue a fine relationship with this club and exchange visits each year for friendly competition for the "Turnpike Trophy." In addition, we travel to Williamsburg, Virginia each spring to compete with their club in the Colonial Challenge Games. Starting in 1998, we initiated a home and home series with the Dupont Lawn Bowling Club in Wilmington, Delaware which has become an ongoing series of tournaments between our clubs.
Although the club was affiliated with the American Lawn Bowls Association (ALBA) from the beginning, there was a period when interest waned and for many years it was an independent club. We rejoined the then-national organizations ALBA and AWLBA (American Women's National Lawn Bowling Association) in 1988 and have enjoyed full membership in both organizations since that time. In 2000, the two organizations merged and formed the United States Lawn Bowls Association (USLBA). Many of our members compete in the tournaments sponsored by the North East Division of the USLBA as well as in the National tournaments each year. Most of our club members participate in our local bowls leagues as well as the open bowling sessions. The club sponsors many tournaments during the season and special games are held on our picnic days celebrating Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. We have a well rounded schedule of leagues, tournaments and social events.
The history of the Frick Park Club almost came to a close in 1992 when we were notified by the City of Pittsburgh that they could no longer afford the bowling green and planned to convert it to a grassy park area. Through the dedicated leadership of then President Eileen Luba, we requested and accepted a role as "Partners in Parks" in which we pledged to the City that we would assume all costs of maintaining the greens in exchange for their promise to keep them intact. Dues were increased, fund raising activities started and donations were requested. Equipment had to be purchased, a competent greenskeeper had to be hired and many problems had to be solved. The dedication and hard work of our members has paid off and our greens are now in excellent condition.
Keep this unique sport in Frick Park by supporting Frick Park Lawn Bowling Club with a donation or join the Club as a member. Frick Park Lawn Bowling Club helps keep Frick Park safe and family friendly but it needs your support. For more information on how to donate or join, visit www.lawnbowlingpittsburgh.org or call 412.782.0848.