Fern Louise Scotland was born in 1919 in the small county of Cattaragus County, Salamanca, New York. At the age of six, Fern and family migrated to Baltimore where she was raised in the Druid Hill Avenue and Hoffman Street areas. Fern earned her education in the Baltimore City Public School system and in 1936, like most blacks of the era, graduated from Frederick Douglass High School. She later briefly returned to New York to attend the New York City College. Upon returning to Baltimore, she enrolled and later graduated from the Cortez Peters Business School. Fern’s career included working in a domestic servant, a riveter for General Motors, an engraver at Capital Pro Shop, a Brunswick certified automatic pinsetter mechanic and as a certified bowling instructor.
In 1943, Fern attempted to bowl tenpins at the Strand Bowling Alley under the leadership of Stanley Jackson of the National Bowling Association. A few years, Fern became proficient enough to join the Eastern Majors League. After years of competing in this fine league and other local leagues under the sanction of TNBA, Fern set aside her bowling career and thus took a break from the sport for a few years. Upon returning to bowling she and Estalla Finks purchased the New Walbrook Lanes on West North Avenue in 1955. During the 25 years as owner-operator Fern actively promoted and encouraged participation in the Baltimore WBA local tournaments. In addition, this high-spirited woman sponsored and organized several bowling teams and ensured every league member in her center bowled in the local associations’ tournaments. As proprietor of Walbrook Lanes Fern prohibited unsanctioned leagues in her center, thus all who bowled in her center were members of the TNBA as well as ABC and WIBC. In late 1980, due to the unavailability of loan money, she reluctantly gave up ownership of the bowling center.
Prior to the existence of the Maryland State WBA, Fern served on the Virginia State WBA holding the office of 3rd Vice President and 2nd Vice president. While a member Fern bowled in every Virginia State tournament. She had a service record on the Baltimore WBA Board of Directors and served on just about every committee. Fern was a charter member of the first organized Maryland Statue WBA and served as a Director on the board for several years. She attended 12 WIBC Annual meetings and at one served as the WIBC Assistant Sgt-at-Arms.
Fern was a board member of the Chesapeake Bay Bowling senate of TNBA and also secretary-treasurer of the Baltimore Bowling Proprietors Association. She was a member of the Board of governors of the Maryland State Proprietors Association and member of the Baltimore Bowling Council since its inception and served that Council as Chairman for several years.
Fern was an exceptional bowler and was thus invited to bowl in all Sun Paper’s Tournament where she usually cashed in an event. She was Baltimore WBA scratch and handicap champion for All Events in 1959. For her dedication and service to women tenpin bowlers in the Baltimore area Fern was inducted into it’s Hall of Fame November 1, 1986. She passed away in March, 1996.