The history of bowling in the United States reaches back to European expansion in to North America. A popular game with the British, French, and Dutch variations of bowling probably landed in the United States with the first settlers. However, the first evidence of bowling in the region is the 17th century depictions of Dutchmen bowling in what is now Manhattan.
Evidence of the importance Dutch settlers placed on their recreational activity is the naming of the “Bowling Green” park, the oldest in Manhattan. This illustration by E A Abbey of the glass windows at the Bowling Green offices in New York depict Dutchmen bowling circa 1670 on Old King’s Arms Tavern on land now 2nd and Broadway in New York. The connection between bowling and Dutchmen in the United States continues into Washington Irving’s 1819 work Rip Van Winkle. Irving’s work is the first literary mention of bowling in the United States. He wrote:
That his father had once seen them in their old Dutch dresses playing at nine-pins in a hollow of the mountain; and that he himself had heard, one summer afternoon, the sound of their balls, distant peals of thunder.