About Mt. Olive Turner Hall
Turner Hall was developed around 1896 under its original name, Turn Verein. It was created as a closed club for German descendants to gather and socialize. One of its most infamous members was an Anheuser that was a founder of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
The Turn Verein was originally located west, across from where the Mt. Olive Post Office is located today. The Hall was later moved to its present location on West Second South Street. The two-lane bowling alley was added to the Hall after the building was moved. It required people, pinsetters, to physically reset the pins after each frame. The lanes are still manually operated by the pinsetters.
Sports always played a major role in Turner Hall’s history. Not only did the Hall provide bowling, but tumbling, stunts, and all forms of gymnastics were encouraged as they were popular German pastimes.
It wasn’t until later that the Turn Verein came to be known as the Mt. Olive Gymnastic Society before finally becoming what it is known as today: Turner Hall. Officially, the hall is still the Mt. Olive Gymnastic Society.
When the Mt. Olive Lions Club disbanded, Turner Hall took over many of the activities such as the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Halloween parade and judging, and most recognizably, the Annual Homecoming. Around 1976, Turners merged with Jaycees, bringing new life and new members to the club.
For over 116 years, Turner Hall has been a place where friends and family of the community could gather for entertainment and socializing. Those traditions still continue today. Bowling leagues and tournaments still continue on the two-lane bowling alleys. Volleyball, both women’s and co-ed, as well as numerous other events occur upstairs in the recreational area of the Hall, as well. All events are funded through generous donations and operated by members that graciously donate their time. Events are organized for all friends and family of the community. One need not be a member to participate.
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History and photo provided by Roger Kratochvil