History of the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club
The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club has been continuously active since its founding on September 1, 1928. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization on March 22, 1963.
Dr. J. W. Henderson and his friend H. J. Haney helped establish the first lawn bowling green with the help of the local Rotary Club. The first green – on Allston Way – was donated to the city by the Haney family. The City gave the Haneys $10.00 to make the deal legally binding. After the property was donated, the Rotary Club gave the City $1,000.00 to help pay for the cost of building the green.
Most of the labor for building the green was performed by charter members of the Club; a task that took a full year. Bowling began in 1929. Club membership increased and a second green was needed. In the 1950’s, a second green was built on the site of a city plant and tree nursery at a cost of $18,000. Members of the club contributed $8,000 with the City funding the rest. The new green was dedicated in 1962 and was named in honor of Frank P. Drake, past President, for his extraordinary service to the Club.
After 35 years with no clubhouse, members of the Club spent about $30,000 to build the present clubhouse that was dedicated in 1964. The City advanced about half of the cost as a loan to the club. It was repaid over a ten-year period. Since then, the City and the Club have had an agreement that permits the Club to continue to use the facilities as a lawn bowling club.